Mr. Straus to Mr. Bayard.
Constantinople, February 8, 1889. (Received February 25.)
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.,