File No. 4960/9–12.
Ambassador Leishman to the Secretary of State.
Constantinople, March 4, 1907.
Sir: In my dispatch No. 190 of the 22d ultimo I had the honor to inform you of my audience with the Sultan on that day (inclosure No. 1) when His Majesty expressed his intention to consult the grand vizier about our pending questions with a view to their immediate settlement. I was informed by His Majesty that a definite reply would be given me upon the following day, when the first dragoman of the embassy was asked to call at the palace in order to receive it. [Page 1047] The dragoman having called was told by His Majesty’s first secretary, Tahsin Pasha, that it would be necessary to make certain inquiries of the cabinet ministers, a special meeting of whom had been called for February 26, and that the reply would be forthcoming on February 27. In view of this I judged it a favorable opportunity to send to the palace, in a Turkish translation for transmission to His Imperial Majesty, a memorandum on cotton-seed oil (inclosure No. 2), which I have added to our demands on the regulation of the mission questions. While the questions of mission properties and cotton-seed oil are of course entirely distinct, yet both have arisen through the denial of equality of treatment guaranteed us by the treaties, and involving as they do questions of principle, are both of the greatest importance. I am therefore endeavoring to press for their simultaneous settlement, whereas our other matters with the Porte can properly be allowed to take their normal course.
On February 27 the embassy dragoman, calling at the palace, was again put off until March 2, with positive assurances that no further delay would occur. But on Saturady, March 2, he was informed that the promised reply would be given on March 5.
Under the circumstances and in view of such repeated delays I have to-day sent a memorandum to Tahsin Pasha, for immediate transmission to His Majesty (inclosure No. 3). The embassy dragoman, who handed it personally, returned with the positive assurance that the promised reply will be given to-morrow, March 5. In any case, however, the purpose of the memorandum will be answered in establishing responsibility for the delay. As I have had the honor to inform you, our matters are now out of the hands of the Sublime Porte and in the palace. And while I have hitherto deemed it expedient to lay the entire blame for obstruction on the Sultan’s immediate counsellors and thus to screen His Majesty, the next few days will probably be enlightening as to the advisability of longer showing such consideration.
I have, etc.,