File No. 4960/21.
Ambassador Leishman to the Secretary of State.
Pera, April 10, 1907.
(Reports that there was a meeting to-day of the European concert, which adopted the following compromise proposal: The arrangements which precede and bind the Ottoman Government to the signatory powers can in no case dispense the Sublime Porte from asking the consent of the other powers before this increase can be put into execution. Mr. Leishman states that this is fairly satisfactory, though less forcible than the British proposal. Says that the Sublime Porte will now be obliged to consult us for the customs increase; that, foreseeing that matters were reaching this point, he yesterday sent a note to the minister for foreign affairs in which he formulated our five main demands: First, the change in the tenure of deeds of title of American institutions; second, the permission to erect buildings at Cesarea; third, the granting of customs immunities at Beirut; fourth, the removal of discriminating restrictions against cotton-seed oil; and, fifth, the recognition of the American consular courts as alone competent to decide as to the legal heirs of a citizen of the United States. States that the first three questions carry out the desire of the President that American institutions be placed on equal footing with those of other powers, that the fourth prevents discrimination against American commerce, and the fifth recognizes our jurisdiction. States that this is a good opportunity for us to secure the settlement of these questions, which have been so long pending, by refusing to consent to a customs increase until the settlement is made. This will mean the obtaining by diplomatic and peaceful expedients of what could otherwise only be obtained with great difficulty. Says that he considers it important that he be authorized to inform the Sublime Porte that we will not allow the customs increase to be imposed on American imports until these questions are settled.)