Mr. Gresham to Mavroyeni Bey.

Sir: My recent absence from this capital has deferred due acknowledgment of your note of the 22d ultimo, in which you refer to my remark in a recent interview that while at Constantinople in the summer of 1890 you had told the members of the United States legation in Turkey “that the modifications introduced by the United States Senate to our convention on naturalization were not such as to justify their approval by the Turkish Government.” You add that, while this much is true, the legation omitted to state that your action was not original with yourself, but in pursuance of opinions conveyed to you by the first secretary of the Sultan.

If I am to regard your note as an authoritative communication of the views of His Imperial Majesty regarding the exchange of ratifications of the long deferred naturalization treaty of 1875, permit me to state that this is the first specific intimation this Government has had during nearly five years of the intentions of His Imperial Majesty in this regard.

By the phrase “modifications introduced by the Senate of the United States to our convention on naturalization,” I presume you refer to the condition stated in the Senate resolution of February 28, 1889, whereby that coordinate branch of the treaty-making power advised the exchange of the ratifications in view of the assent of the Imperial Government, which was unreservedly given by the Porte on January 15, 1889, after fourteen years had elapsed since the original ratification and exchange.

The Senate condition was, after ample consideration, acquiesced in by the Porte without reserve, and Mr. Hirsch was so advised in formal interviews with their excellencies the grand vizier and the minister for foreign affairs on April 19, 1890, being informed that the imperial iradé was alone awaited to enable the completion of the convention by exchange. Subsequently, in June, 1891, and in response to Mr. Hirsch’s request for a reply to his note touching the deferred iradé, he learned that the protracted delay in obtaining His Imperial Majesty’s sanction was due to the necessity of first obtaining information from the representatives of Turkey at certain European posts. This is the latest Turkish official communication on the subject, and nothing is found to intimate that the Porte’s formal acceptance of the Senate conditions of February 28, 1889, has been since withdrawn.

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I should, moreover, remark that your memory of my statement touching your action in the summer of 1890 is not strictly accurate. What the legation then reported was that you had declared your purpose, on returning to Washington, to influence the Senate to recede from its expressed condition, and had invited the friendly concurrence of Mr. Hirsch to that end.

It is to be noted that the announcement of the Turkish foreign office in June, 1891, that the imperial iradé was merely deferred awaiting certain details of information, is long subsequent to the date of your visit to Constantinople, when, as would now seem, you were acting in accordance with the imperial conclusion that the conditions of the Senate resolution “were not such as to justify their acceptance by Turkey.”

His Majesty being of this mind in the summer of 1890, and your action being guided by the imperial wishes as you now state, I am unable to find any satisfactory explanation of the silence of the Porte in this regard for nearly three years, during which time this Government has patiently awaited the consummation of the arrangement which was formally accepted by the Porte on the 19th of April, 1890.

Accept, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.