No. 546.
Mr. Pratt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 9.]

Sir: In my dispatch No. 8, diplomatic series, I had the honor to inform you of my official reception by His Majesty the Shah on the 24th instant, and beg now to report that, acting upon the suggestions contained in your circular of the 20th September, concerning the advancement of our commercial and industrial interests abroad, I questioned the minister of foreign affairs as to the attitude his Government was likely to assume towards American enterprise, and on learning from him it would be in all respects a most friendly one, but that to more satisfy myself on this score, it might be well to confer with his sovereign personally, I sought and was promptly accorded an interview with the Shah yesterday morning.

His Majesty retained me in conversation for over an hour discoursing upon the great and valuable deposits in Persia of iron, coal, copper, sulphur, and numerous other useful ores and precious minerals, and the fertility of the soil on the vast table lands, which required but improved means of irrigation to be made to return unfailing and abundant crops of wheat, maize, sugar-cane, tobacco, and rice, as well as cotton and other fiber-yielding plants, to say nothing of the -tropical and semi-tropical fruits and vegetable medical products.

“The field,” he said, “is opened to American capital and industry, which have but to come here and reap its fruits.”

Hereupon I directly asked His Majesty if it was his wish that the development of the industrial and commercial resources of Persia should be undertaken by Americans, and if in such undertakings our people would receive his full protection and support.

To this he replied in the affirmative, assuring me that not only would their rights be guarantied and their interests promoted in every possible way, but that I had his authority to inform my Government that through me extraordinary concessions would be granted American capitalists coming here for the purpose of constructing lines of railway, cutting canals for irrigating and draining purposes, opening up mines, and establishing manufactories, or entering upon large farming or planting operations, or other legitimate industrial or agricultural enterprises.

His Majesty also said that understanding 11 had a practical knowledge of railway and mining engineering, as well as of cotton and cane culture as practiced in the Southern States of America, he would very much like to have me examine into and report upon the resources and possibilities of the Empire.

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In closing, His Majesty requested that I should convey to my Government his earnest desire to see this raised to the level of the higher grade of missions in our diplomatic service.

I have been here too short a time to be able to give a definite opinion of my own on the subject treated of in the main body of this dispatch, yet, judging from the writings of the best modern authorities and from the most reliable information to be obtained on the spot, I can but believe in the great native wealth of this land and of the profits that must result from its development.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.