Mr. White to Mr. Gresham.

No. 181.]

Sir: I have the honor, pursuant to instructions contained in your dispatch, No. 151, of December 28, 1893, to inclose a copy of a note received from the imperial department of foreign affairs, relating to the rights of Americana to acquire and hold real estate in Russia.

In accordance with the permission granted in your dispatch as above, I have forwarded to L. H. Smith, esq., an American doing business at Vladivostock and in the Amoor region, a certified copy of the same for use with the authorities.

The matter of acquiring real estate does not appear so easy in practice as the inclosed note would make it in theory.

In all parts of Russia not only laws, but special prescriptions, limitations, arrangements, and orders of various civil and military authorities have more or less force, and the result of this case is, that Mr. Smith, though aided by lawyers, has found it impossible to secure permission to buy real estate without such a certified copy.

I am, etc.,

Andrew D. White.
[Inclosure in No. 181.]

Mr. Chichkine to Mr. White.

Mr. Minister: In a note dated the 1/13 of April you ask me to inform you of the state of the Russian law on the question: Can citizens of the United States of America hold real estate in Russia.

Accordingly I have the honor to inform you that citizens of the United States have the right, in virtue of the laws of the Empire and under the same conditions as all strangers, to acquire and possess real estate in Russia subject to certain restrictions, as set forth in article 1003 of volume 9 of our Code of Laws.

These restrictions bear upon the holding of real estate in the province of Turkestan (law of 12 June, 1886) and of land outside the city limits in the ten governments of Poland, and in the governments of Bessarabia, Vilna, Vitebsk, of Volhynia, Grodno, Kieff, Kowno, of Courland, of Livonia, Minsk, and of Podolia (law of 14= March, 1887).

I beg to renew, etc.,