File No. 367.11/127.

The American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 374.]

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 322 of November 21, 1912, concerning the requisition by Ottoman authorities, for military purposes, of horses and vehicles belonging to foreign subjects, I have the honor to enclose herewith copies and translations of notes further exchanged between the Sublime Porte and the Embassy on the subject.

I have [etc.]

W. W. Rockhill.
[Inclosure 1—Identic note verbale.]

The American Embassy to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

In continuation of its identic note verbale of October 12, 1912, concerning the requisition for war purposes of horses and vehicles belonging to foreign [Page 1341] subjects, and in reply to the observations made by the Sublime Porte on this subject, the Embassy of the United States of America has the honor to point out as follows:

While reserving the question of principle as to the legitimacy from the point of view of the Capitulations, and while admitting, out of considerations of convenience, that the Imperial authorities are justifiable to a certain extent in having recourse to such requisition, the Embassy of the United States of America desires to point out that such requisition, in order that it may be valid and executed in conditions excluding all abuses and irregularities, can take place only with the assistance of the Consulates.

For the same reasons the estimate of requisitioned objects, in view of an indemnity to be paid to the interested party, could not take place under the exclusive direction of the Imperial authorities.

The Embassy of the United States has therefore the honor to beg the Imperial Ministry to kindly issue the necessary orders in order that the requisition and estimate in question be made only in conformity with the above-mentioned principles.

[Inclosure. 2—Note verbale—Translation.]

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Note Verbale which the Embassy of the United States of America has kindly addressed to it on January 25, 1913, for the purpose of formulating certain objections regarding the requisition for war purposes of horses and vehicles belonging ‘to foreign subjects.

In reply, the Imperial Ministry deems it its duty to point out again that foreigners residing in all countries being, equally, with the natives, subject to the measure of requisition enacted in time of war, the reservations made by the Embassy of the Republic as to the legitimacy of this measure could in no way be justified.

As to the presence of the consular dragoman during the estimate of the said horses and vehicles, the Imperial Ministry begs to point out that the question of requisition being one of those which are related to the national defense and consequently has an urgent character, it could not admit of consular assistance, especially, as the Imperial authorities pay very great attention to the estimate of the value of the horses and vehicles in question, in order to avoid any legitimate claim on the part of foreign nationals.