Mr. Straus to Mr. Bayard.

No. 172.]

Sir: In reply to your instruction No. 180 of 21st ultimo, with inclosure, copy of letter from Laforme and Frothingham, respecting the proposed action of the authorities at Smyrna concerning the storage of petroleum, I have the honor to report:

In the early part of December, 1888, this matter came before me through the office of the consul-general, and I immediately sent a note to the Sublime Porte, dated December 6, 1888, of which I inclose a copy for your information.

At the same time I spoke personally with the minister of foreign affairs, expanding my views upon the subject, as the matter seemed to be urgent, in that it was reported that the proposed action would be taken forthwith.

The minister of foreign affairs promised me that he would at once telegraph to the governor-general at Smyrna instructing him to take no action in the matter, as it was under consideration between him (the minister) and myself. He further promised that no action would be taken by the Sublime Porte until after further discussion with me, and that he would advise me of any action that might be contemplated.

[Page 713]

I have carefully noted your explicit directions, and the matter will have my attention, should any further action on my part become necessary under the circumstances above stated.

I have, etc.,

O. S. Straus.
[Inclosure in No. 172.]

Mr. Straus to the Sublime Porte.

Excellency: I herewith have the honor to bring to the attention of Your Excellency a protest made by Messrs. Reggio and Belhomme, of Smyrna, representing Messrs. Laforme and Frothingham, citizens of the United States, whose principal establishment is in the city of Boston, in the said United States.

By the inclosed protest and the report of our consul at Symrna, it appears that an attempt is being made by the vali of Aidin to compel the agents of the said Laforme and Frothingham to transfer within two weeks their petroleum from their own stores into stores provided by the municipality, and to enforce excessive payments for storage.

In view of the fact that the stores of Reggio and Belhomme, the agents of Messrs. Laforme and Frothingham, were built at a great cost pursuant to a regulation made by the vali of Symrna in 1873, the proposed present regulation is in direct conflict with vested property rights, and is arbitary and unjust.

I deem it my duty to make a positive protest against the proposed action of the vali of Aidin, and trust your excellency will cause orders to be sent at once to Symrna with a view of preventing such action being taken.

I have not entered upon an extended argument in this note, first, because I desired to bring this official protest to your excellency’s notice with as little delay as possible, and secondly, because the subject-matter is fully stated in the inclosed protest of Reggio and Belhomme.

Accept, etc.,

O. S. Straus.