The Minister in Bulgaria (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

No. 503

Sir: I have the honor to report that the French Minister called on me yesterday to inquire whether the exchange of the ratifications of the Bulgarian-American extradition treaty1 was to be taken as an indication that the United States has definitely relinquished in Bulgaria its capitulatory rights, which by article 175 of the Treaty of Neuilly2 were specifically retained by all countries signatory to that instrument.

Although since I have been in charge of this mission I have on various occasions referred to the capitulations as governing certain rights and privileges of Americans in Bulgaria, I have never received from the Department any definite expression as to its point of view of the matter. In looking over the past records of the Legation, I cannot find that the United States ever relinquished its capitulatory rights, and in fact at times seems to have attached considerable importance to their maintenance, while never actually invoking them.

Apparently those countries which have ratified the Treaty of Neuilly intend to maintain their capitulatory rights, and it is on the strength of these rights that the British, French, and probably the Italian Governments are going to insist upon the free customs entry of articles for their respective consuls. (Legation’s telegram No. 21, of June 30, 1924).3

In view of the above inquiry of the French Minister, and possibly like inquiries from the Bulgarian Government, I have the honor to request that the Legation may be informed as to the position of the United States Government on the question of capitulatory rights in Bulgaria as affecting American interests in that country.

I have [etc.]

Charles S. Wilson
  1. Treaty of Mar. 19, 1924, Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 328.
  2. S. Doc. 7, 67th Cong., 1st sess., p. 47.
  3. Not printed.