Mr. Hirsch to Mr. Blaine .

No. 284.]

Sir: In December, 1890, I was informed that the Rev. Henry Easson, of Latakia, had, under the rights secured to foreigners by the protocol permitting them to buy and hold real estate, purchased a parcel of land for the purpose of building a dwelling house.

His application for the necessary permit to build was refused by the authorities, except he bind himself in a bond—

  • First. That he would not use the house for school purposes.
  • Second. That he would not rent it for school purposes.
  • Third. That he would not sell it, except to those who would so bind themselves not to use it for school purposes.

Mr. Easson properly refused to comply with conditions obviously illegal, and the building permit was thus refused.

The attention of the Sublime Porte was called to the case by a note verbale, No. 49, of December 5, 1890, asking that Mr. Easson’s rights be respected and the building permit issued, of which I inclose a copy. I am now informed that these representations have had the desired result and that Mr. Easson has received the permit and is constructing his house.

I have, etc.,

Solomon Hirsch.
[Page 751]
[Inclosure in No. 284.]

Mr. Hirsch to Said Pasha .

[Note verbale.]

The legation of the United States has the honor to inform his excellency the minister of foreign affairs that the American citizen Henry Easson, acting under faith of the protocol permitting foreigners to acquire real estate in this Empire, purchased a lot of land in Latakia, with the intention of building on it a dwelling house for his own occupancy.

Upon applying for the customary municipal permit to erect his house he was informed that he must first sign a bond declaring that—

  • First. That he would not use it for school purposes.
  • Second. That he would not rent it for school purposes.
  • Third. That he would not sell it, save to those who would bind themselves not to use it or rent it for school purposes.

Mr. Easson refused to give such a bond, whereupon the authorities refused the permit to build his house. The rights acquired by foreigners under the protocol extend not only to the purchase of land, but also to its use and enjoyment by the owner. A demand for such a bond as the above is clearly illegal, therefore, and can not be enforced. It follows that the decree of the local authorities refusing the permit to build should be revoked and the proper facilities granted to Mr. Easson.

The United States legation begs to express the hope that His Majesty’s Government may cause the proper steps to be taken by the local authorities for the removal of the obstacles placed in the way of our countryman, that he may be permitted to at once begin the construction of his house.