No. 683.
Mr. King to Mr. Bayard .

No. 277.]

Sir: Interference with the colporteurs employed by the missionaries has been a difficulty of long standing between this legation and the Turkish Government. Recently, however, they agreed to prepare certain regulations for the control of these colporteurs, which, when finished, will put an end to these difficulties, we hope.

A commission was appointed to prepare these regulations, but at one time ceased to hold meetings and apparently came to an end; but they were urged to take the matter up again, and they have at length finished framing the articles. These are to be submitted to two or more councils and, finally, to the Sultan.

In the mean time the arrest of the colporteurs, notwithstanding the agreement to leave them alone for the present, continues to give trouble to our missionaries. Verbal remonstrances have been made several times, but they have proved ineffective.

Accordingly I have sent a dispatch to the minister of foreign affairs on the subject, a copy of which I inclose for your consideration.

I have, etc.,

Pendleton King.
[Page 1090]
[Inclosure in No. 277.]

Mr. King to Said Pacha .

Excellency: I beg to ask your attention to the matter of the frequent interference by the municipal authorities with the colporteurs employed by the American Bible Society, especially of those in Constantinople, in the sale of books, which have been submitted to and authorized by the board of public instruction.

A few years ago these interferences were carried to such an extent that my Government laid claim to an indemnity. This claim it afterwards relinquished under the express condition that such interference should not occur again, as you will see by referring to dispatch No. 118, of June 22, 1882, from this legation to the Sublime Porte, and from dispatch of March 22, 1883, from the Sublim Porte in reply, and finally to dispatch No. 156, of March 30, 1883, from this legation to the Sublime Porte.

Recently a commission was appointed to frame regulations on this subject, with the distinct understanding between this legation and your department that colporteurs quietly pursuing their business should not be interfered with until said regulations were completed.

I therefore beg your excellency to issue positive instructions to the competent authorities which will prevent further interference with said colporteurs.

Accept, etc.,

Pendleton King.