Mr. Blaine to Mr. Hirsch.

No. 98.]

Sir: I have received your No. 131 of the 30th ultimo, in further reference to the American book trade in Turkey.

You inclose a copy of a note which you had just addressed to the Sublime Porte in reference to certain books which the missionaries had placed in the hands of an agent for sale, and which had been seized and burned. You say in your note, “These books,” i. e., the books left with the agent, “were all authorized by the Government, with the exception of one,” and you add, “The local authorities seized all the books, and, notwithstanding the authorization, retained them for a long time, after which a portion were returned, while the balance of them were all burned.”

The Department regrets that nothing appears to show whether the destruction of books in this case was or was not confined to the unauthorized volumes, and also that nothing appears to show whether or not the possession by the agent of the unauthorized volumes was sufficient warrant under Turkish law for the seizure of all.

It appears to the Department that the points herein suggested should be made clear.

I am, etc.,

James G. Blaine.