Mr. Straus to Mr. Hay.

No. 23.]

Sir: Regarding the question of local passports (teskeres), the denial of which has for the past year or more been a matter of frequent hindrance [Page 1100]and inconvenience to Americans and foreigners of all nations, I have the honor to report:

Supplementary to my report on this matter contained in my dispatch No. 21, of November 16, I have received from the Porte the note verbale, of which a translation is attached. I also attach a copy of my reply to the minister of foreign affairs.

I regard this as a satisfactory solution of the matter, brought about by my negotiations. The other powers whose subjects suffered from some denial of teskeres receive equal benefit from this decision of the council of ministers.

The American missionaries are very much gratified with this result, and have expressed to me their high appreciation for the success achieved. They value this even more than the exequatur for our consulship at Erzeroum, as the denial and delay in granting teskeres, by the ministry referring requests to the palace for the Sultan’s irade, was a constant source of hindrance to them in going to and returning from their stations in the interior.

I have, etc.,

Oscar S. Straus.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 23.—Translation.]

circular note verbale.

The Legation of the United States of America:

By virtue of a decision of the council of ministers sanctioned by imperial irade, foreigners desiring to travel in the Empire can in future obtain local passports on producing an ilmu-haber (application) from the consulate of their country setting forth their identity, the object of their journey, the places to which they wish to go, as well as the approximate duration of the stay they intend making.

As persons desiring to travel in the Empire should have nothing to do with politics, and as the departure for the interior of anarchists and other disturbers of the peace should be rigorously forbidden, the imperial ministry hopes that the foreign missions will kindly facilitate the task of the Imperial Government in the application of measures which will be adopted when necessary with a view to public order against individuals of that category who may succeed in surreptitiously procuring these local passports, and persons who, during their journey, may conduct themselves in a reprehensible manner.

In having the honor to bring this decision to the knowledge of the legation of the United States of America the ministry for foreign affairs requests it to notify those whom it may concern.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 23.]

note verbale.

The legation of the United States of America has received the note verbale of the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the 16th of November, 1898, No. 30,625/232, in regard to the local passports hereafter to [Page 1101]be issued on the production of an ilmu-haber (application) of the consulate of the country of which the foreigners wishing to travel through the Empire are citizens or subjects.

The legation of the United States of America hastens to express its satisfaction for the disposition of this matter of teskeres or local passports. It will do all in its power to facilitate the Government in this matter, with a view of preserving public order, in accordance with the rights, privileges, and obligations of its citizens in this Empire.

The legation of the United States avails itself of this opportunity to express to the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs its appreciation for its prompt decision of this question which it recently had the honor to submit for its consideration.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sublime Porte.