Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

No. 268.]

Sir: I beg to inclose herewith copy of a note received from the Sublime Porte in regard to Article IV of the treaty (of 1830) together with copy of my reply, which I trust will meet with your approval.

I have, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.
[Inclosure 1.]

The Sublime Porte to Mr. Leishman.

Note verbale.]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 21, 1902.

By its note verbale of January 2, 1901, the ministry of foreign affairs transmitted to the legation of the United States of America a list containing the names of those American citizens who, being charged with various offenses, are protected from judicial prosecution by reason of the difference of views existing between the two Governments relative to the interpretation of Article IV of the treaty of 1830, and once more emphasized the necessity of putting an end to this difference.

The said note has hitherto remained unanswered, and it appears from a recent communication to the Department of Justice that the United States consul still continues to decline to notify the said American citzens of the summonses to appear which have been issued against them by the Ottoman courts, and thus wholly to obstruct the action of justice.

Thus it is that the judicial steps recently taken against Ernest Salomon, an American citizen, residing in Timoni street, who is charged with having beaten And wounded one Yaco, have been entirely fruitless.

As the Imperial ministry has already stated at length in its preceding communications the reasons which render it incumbent upon it to put an end to a situation which is so incompatible with the incontestable right of the Imperial Government, it deems it unnecessary to take up this matter again. Confiding in the sentiments of justice which actuate the United States legation, it feels convinced that said legation will itself recognize the necessity of finally reaching an understanding on this subject, and that it will take the necessary measures in order that this question may, without further delay, be settled in accordance with the principles of law and wdth the spirit of the treaties that have been concluded by the American Government with the Sublime Porte.

[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Leishman to the Sublime Porte.

Note verbale.]

In reply to the note verbale of the Sublime Porte dated August 21, 1902, the legation of the United States of America has the honor to advise the Imperial ministry [Page 1050] of foreign affairs that it does not consider itself competent to make any alterations or modifications in the terms and conditions of the solemn agreements entered into between the Imperial Ottoman Government and the Government of the United States of America, as evidenced by the treaty concluded by the two Governments under date of 7th May, 1830, nor can it change or modify the interpretation already given by the Department of State. Consequently the legation is unable to instruct the United States consulate-general and the several consulates to deviate from the construction placed by the United States Government on Article IV of the treaty of the above mentioned date, and from the position which it has always maintained, and which position is well known to the Imperial Ottoman Government.

This legation desires here to point out that the United States consulate-general and consulates in Turkey, in declining to serve on United States citizens warrants or summonses to appear in Ottoman criminal or correctional courts, are not prompted by any spirit of infringing the action of justice. In the same way that the United States consular courts are ready to hear criminal or correctional actions against Americans accused and prosecuted by American citizens or other foreigners, so are they ready to hear such actions if the accused Americans are prosecuted by the Imperial Ottoman Government or by Ottoman subjects appearing as partie civile. And the Sublime Porte may be sure that in case such accused American citizens should be found guilty they will be convicted and punished according to the provisions of American law.

As a general principle, the legation can not consider for a moment the waiving of any of the rights and privileges enjoyed by the citizens of the United States. But in order to avoid if possible the friction which constantly arises, it would respectfully suggest the advisability of the imperial Ottoman Government instructing its representative at Washington to take the matter up direct with the Department of State, with a view of arriving at a solution satisfactory to both Governments.