File No. 17984/1.

Chargé Schuyler to the Secretary of State.

No. 403.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a translation of a circular just received from the imperial ministry for foreign affairs, concerning the admission of foreign subjects to the Russian possessions in central Asia.

The foreign office requests that as much publicity as possible may be given to this circular in order to avoid inconvenience to travelers in those regions.

Attention is drawn to the fact that at least three weeks’ notice must be given before the arrival of foreigners at the frontier of Russian central Asia.

I have, etc.,

Montgomery Schuyler.
[Page 527]


No. 162.]

Note verbale.

Conforming to the existing rule, the entrance of foreigners into the Russian possessions in central Asia is theoretically forbidden. Exceptions to this rule are nevertheless admitted and authorizations regarding them can be delivered in each special case to foreigners who wish to visit these Provinces and who petition the Imperial Government to this effect through their diplomatic representatives in St. Petersburg.

Although this is the only proper method to obtain access to the districts in question, it sometimes happens that persons, ignoring this rule, travel directly to central Asia, where the local authorities, acting in strict conformity with the prescription of the law, are obliged to forbid them the continuation of their journey. The frequency of these cases has considerably augmented during the last few months, and it is obvious that the unexpected interruptions cause the travelers in question losses of both time and money, which are sometimes considerable. Their forced detention by the authorities becomes the cause of complaints which are devoid of all foundation, considering that the local authorities are merely acting in accordance with their instructions.

As a consequence, the imperial ministry for foreign affairs considers it its duty to beg the embassy to take the necessary steps in order that the above-mentioned regulations may be given as great publicity as possible, in the interest of those travelers who wish to visit the Russian possessions in central Asia, and in order to do away in the future with the inconveniences which result from their revolutionary infraction of the law.

The ministry has the honor to add that in the case where these rules concerning the admission of foreigners to the Provinces in question are not observed by travelers the Imperial Government disclaims all responsibility regarding delays and losses sustained by the former. Added to this the ministry thinks itself obliged to particularly call the attention of the embassy to the absolute necessity of formulating its requests for authorizations in sufficient time, and in any case not later than three weeks before the projected date of the traveler’s arrival in central Asia, as the correspondence on this subject with the proper authorities necessitates a certain length of time.