Chargé Jay to the Secretary of State.

No. 1360.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy and translation of a note received from the Sublime Porte, in which it is stated that the permission requested by the legation in August, 1905, for the erection of two new buildings at the Salonica Industrial School can not be granted.

I beg to inclose also my reply in which I confirm the legation’s note No. 669, of March 3, 1906, by which Mr. Leishman took the position that as no objections had been raised by the Sublime Porte during the six months following the legation’s application, it was considered that this permission had been granted and the missionaries had been so informed.

The department is aware that by the terms of the French Mytilene settlement it was agreed that the embassy should apply for permission for all new French schools, and that if no written objections [Page 1388] were received during the six months following the application, that permission should be considered to have been granted.

The French embassy has, I am informed, only made use of this agreement in one case so far, namely, in the case of a school for which the six months’ objection period has lately elapsed. The Dragoman of the French embassy charged with this school question has, however, privately stated that it was feared that the Turkish Government might try to block the construction of such new schools in an indirect way, such as threatening the native workmen employed in their construction.

This is precisely what appears to have happened in the case of our school at Cesarea. An application for permission for the construction of new buildings at this school was made by the legation on March 8, 1905, which permission the legation informed the Sublime Porte on February 5, 1906, was considered to have been granted, considerably over six months having elapsed since the filing of the application without any objection having been raised.

I to-day received a telegram from Doctor Wingate, head of the school at Cesarea, reading as follows:

American Minister,

In accordance with your letter No. 922 of February 12, 1906, we began the building, but the workmen have been intimidated and the local authorities undertake to forbid our work. Please take the necessary steps.


I inclose a copy of Mr. Leishman’s letter referred to above and of my note to the Sublime Porte on this subject.

I have, etc.,

Peter Augustus Jay.
[Inclosure 1.—Note verbale.—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Chargé Jay.

No. 64830/13.]

By its note of the 28th of last August the United States legation was good enough to request that two fields situated in the village of Kapoudjilar at Kelmerie, Salonica, and bought by the benevolent society, the American Bureau, be registered in the name Of this society and that the necessary authorization be granted for the construction on these fields of two buildings to serve as industrial and agricultural schools.

The Sublime Porte did not fail to request of the governor-general of the Vilayet of Salonica information on this subject.

In reply His Excellency Reouf Pasha stated that on the above-mentioned ground there existed already the school which, having been opened without permission, has been the cause of the imperial ministry’s notes of December 17, 1904, No. 59372/36, and of May 13, 1905, No. 61113/15.

As the village of Kapoudjilar is inhabited exclusively by Greeks the carrying on of this school, in which the teaching is carried on in Bulgarian, would give rise, in view of the dissensions existing between their two communities, to serious inconveniences.

For these reasons the imperial ministry begs the United States legation to kindly transmit to the above-mentioned society the necessary orders to give up their intention of building the schools in question and that it proceed to close the one actually in existence.

[Page 1389]
[Inclosure 2.]

Chargé Jay to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the imperial ministry for foreign affairs note of April 16, 1906, No. 64830/13, in which the legation’s note, No. 585, of August 28, 1905, which requested that permission be granted for the construction of two new buildings for the American Industrial School near Salonica is acknowledged, and which now notifies the legation that this request can not be granted.

In reply I would respectfully draw your excellency’s attention to the legation’s note 669, of March 3, 1906, in which the legation had the honor to inform the imperial ministry for foreign affairs that, in view of no objections having been raised by the Sublime Porte during the period of six months provided for after the application, the desired permission was considered to have been granted.

I now beg to confirm the above-mentioned note of the 3d of March, 1906, and to respectfully inform your excellency that I can not discuss any objection raised at this late day.

I trust that it will not be necessary for me to report to my Government that the Imperial Ottoman Government, notwithstanding its repeated assurances and guarantees that American institutions in Turkey would not be treated on a less favorable basis than similar institutions belonging to other nations, has now decided to deny them this right which is enjoyed by others.

I take, etc.,

Peter Augustus Jay.
[Subinclosure—Note verbale.]

The American Legation to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The American legation in its notes of August 28, 1905, requested the Sublime Porte to take the necessary steps to obtain the high firman necessary for the construction of two new buildings for the American Industrial School on the locality known as Kapoudjilar, at Kelmeriyé, Salonica.

By the fact that six months have passed since that date and that no objections have been raised by the Sublime Porte, it is considered that, in conformity with the mode of action agreed upon with the French embassy, the permission for the erection of the said buildings is granted.

And whereas the Sublime Porte has repeatedly declared and guaranteed that no different mode of action or treatment will be adopted than that adopted toward similar institutions belonging to other friendly powers, naturally and clearly all rights, immunities, and privileges granted to institutions belonging to other governments are equally extended and applied to American institutions. Therefore, no objection having been raised within the said period of six months, as stated above, considering that permission to build has been granted, this legation has so informed the American missionaries residing in Salonica; and it now requests the Sublime Porte to kindly give the necessary orders to whom it may concern that the local officials should not interfere with or prevent the said construction according to the plans that have been submitted (inclosed in the above-mentioned note of the 3d of March, 1906).

[Inclosure 3.]

Chargé Jay to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to confirm the notes of this legation numbered 512 and 649 of March 8, 1905, and February 5, 1906, respectively.

In its note of March 8, 1905, the legation requested the correction of registers of certain American mission property at Cesarea and that permission be granted [Page 1390] for the construction of a building for the boys school and of a house for the residence of the director of the school.

In its note of February 5, 1906, the legation had the honor to inform the Sublime Porte that more than six months having elapsed since the original application, and the Sublime Porte having raised no objection to the construction of these buildings, it was considered that in conformity with this right enjoyed by institutions belonging to other nations and with the principle of equality of treatment repeatedly recognized by the Sublime Porte in favor of American institutions, permission was granted to carry on the construction of the desired buildings. This legation further requested that the necessary instructions be given in order that any interference on the part of the local authorities might be avoided.

I now regret to be obliged to inform your excellency that I have received a telegram from the director of the school at Cesarea stating that the local authorities are stopping the work of construction and intimidating the workmen.

If necessary instructions have not already been sent to the authorities in Cesarea, I have now to request your excellency to cause telegraphic orders to be sent directing the authorities to refrain from any further interference.

The missionaries in Cesarea having already purchased their building material and made other preparations, any delay in this matter will entail pecuniary as well as other losses to the American mission.

I have, etc.,

Peter Augustus Jay.
[Inclosure 4.]

Minister Leishman to Doctor Wingate.

No. 922 Misc.]

Sir: In reply to your letter of January 26, 1906, I beg to advise that the legation’s note to the Porte regarding the proposed new building for the mission at Talas, which was withheld for a number of weeks on account of the possible bad effect it might have on other pending matters pertaining to the mission, has finally been sent in.

As you will observe from the inclosed copy of note addressed to the Porte, the legation assumes that as the Porte has failed to offer any proper objection within the six months period, the right to proceed with the construction of the proposed building has been tacitly admitted, and will insist upon this point being respected.

As this is the first case where the legation has been called upon to claim for American institutions the rights acquired by the French respecting the erection of new buildings, I am not in position to guarantee that more or less trouble will not be experienced when attempting to enforce these acquired rights, but in case the local officials should make any attempt to restrain you from proceeding with the construction of the new building kindly inform the legation at once.

Trusting that my fears may prove groundless and that you will experience no further difficulties in the prosecution of your work,

I am, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.