No. 683.

Tevfik Pasha to Mr. Frelinghuysen .

Mr. Secretary of State: I have had the honor to receive the note which you were pleased to address to me, under date of the 24th ultimo, in relation to the treaty of commerce between Turkey and the United. States.

In reply I can but renew to you the assurances which the Imperial Government has repeatedly given to that of the United States, that American merchants will receive, in the dominions of his Imperial [Page 902] Majesty the Sultan, the same usage as those of other nations, as is stipulated in Article I of the treaty of 1830, which is the only treaty that is now in force.

The Sublime Porte, in an arrangement to be concluded between the two countries to take the place of the treaty of 1862, which has ceased to exist, would be perfectly willing to place American merchandise on the same footing as that of the most favored nation. It would have to be well understood, however, that this stipulation should be reciprocal, and interpreted as it has been hitherto understood in the law of nations. That is to say, that just as American goods imported into Turkey would receive the benefit of any advantage granted to a third power, so Ottoman goods would enjoy in the United States all advantages that, for any reason, should be accorded by the Washington Government to the goods of any other country.

As to the transient question what usage will be accorded to American goods in the Ottoman Empire, so long as no new treaty shall be concluded, I have every reason to believe that such goods will be subjected to the same usage as those of other nations, with the exception of imports from Austria-Hungary, upon which, for the present, specific duties continue to be levied; goods from all other countries pay ad valorem duties. The Sublime Porte was therefore very much surprised when it learned thatthe representative of the United States at Constantinople had been instructed to protest every time that ad valorem duties should be levied upon American goods, unless the same duties should be levied upon the productions of other nations.

This decision cannot fail to complicate the situation, and to give rise to new difficulties, without doing any good. The United States legation, moreover, will not have occasion to protest, notwithstanding the instructions of its Government, since ad valorem duties are levied upon the goods of all in general.

I have been instructed by my Government to beg you earnestly, Mr. Secretary of State, to be pleased to instruct the United States delegate to take part, without delay, not only in the preparation of the new tariff, but also in the negotiations for the conclusion of a new treaty to take the place of that which the Sublime Porte has regularly denounced.

Be pleased, &c.,