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being able to secure a satisfactory settlement eventually through the Sublime Porte, it may require some time, and of course there is always the possibility that in the end it may have to be taken to the palace, where all real power is centered. Consequently, in the absence of further instructions he does not feel warranted in longer delaying his request for a personal audience with His Imperial Majesty in order to make proper demands for the settlement of pending questions. Once this is done, however, it is Mr. Leishman's opinion that negotiations with the Porte on these questions should be dropped, and not only the audience with the Sultan insisted upon, but also the prompt and absolute settlement of pending questions, for unless this stand be taken the audience, even if granted, would in all probability only result in having the matter referred back to the Porte with favorable recommendation, which, in reality, would mean nothing, as interminable delay would follow by questions and examinations by different incompetent departments, to be reexamined by others of the same sort. There is no doubt but that the Sultan and the Porte are unusually busy at the present time, being very much occupied and worried over internal affairs, especially the critical condition in Macedonia, and urgent necessity for completing arrangements for unification of debt and making a new loan, but as no action is ever taken by the Turkish Government until the last ditch has been reached, Mr. Leishman can not recommend much further indulgence on this score.

Although there is no doubt that the Ottoman Government is laboring under very heavy pressure at the present time, Mr. Leishman can only add that he is still strongly of the opinion that unless the Gov. ernment of the United States is prepared to take a strong and determined stand at the palace it would be better to pursue matters quietly but persistently with the Porte, the palace being the only power that could be depended upon to absolutely bring about an immediate settlement.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

No. 356.]


Constantinople, February 13, 1903. Sir: I beg to confirm my cablegram sent you this day in regard to the settlement of pending questions.

The general school question is the one that is apt to prove the most difficult to settle, especially if the absolute acknowledgment of the principle of equal treatment be insisted upon, as I know from actual data that the English Government at least did not press this point too hard or insist upon an official and positive acknowledgment, merely having accepted the decree agreeing to grant the necessary firman for schools, hospitals, etc., already established, and even a few of these were held under advisement.

Nor has the legation any particular reason to complain of an unreasonable delay in settlement of this question, which is important to the Turks as well as to the missionaries. The English embassy waited nearly eight months for a reply to their note, which was accompanied by a detailed list of their educational and charitable institutions, a very small list compared to ours; they having filed their note on June %. 1902, and only received reply on January 24, 1903, after a lapse of

nearly eight months, while the legation's note was only addressed to the Porte under date of September 2, 1902—a little over five months ago—not an unreasonable length of time for Turkey to settle an important question, as they frequently take much longer time to settle very trifling affairs, and this, coupled with other facts already mentioned, and the apparent disposition on the part of the Ottoman Government to adjust matters, has made me rather loath to recommend overriding the Sublime Porte, hy insisting upon His Imperial Majesty settling the matter direct, an action which might irritate the Sublime Porte and possibly cause complications, as I am of the belief that this action should only be taken when all peaceable means have been exhausted through ordinary channels, and the point reached when patience has ceased to be a virtue.


The situation in Macedonia is critical, but not alarming for the immediate present, despite the inflammatory reports that are daily circulated. It is true that the corps d'armée in Macedonia is being brought up to a more efficient standard, but there is no truth in the reports that the entire force is being mobilized and put upon a war footing. Actual fighting may take place, as soon as the good weather sets in, between the troops and the armed bands of Macedonian revolutionists and their fellow Bulgarian sympathizers, which may even lead to conflict between Bulgaria and Turkey; but it is to be hoped that these fears may not be realized, and in any event it would be premature to venture a positive opinion on this subject. I have, etc.,


Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

No. 359.]


Constantinople, February 18, 1903. SIR: Referring further to my cablegram of the 13th instant, I beg to inclose copy of note to Sublime Porte, requesting an audience with His Imperial Majesty in order to present the President's message and at same time endeavor to secure a settlement of pending questions, having refrained from presenting demand for audience for three days after forwarding cable at the earnest solicitation of the minister for foreign affairs, who assured me that both the general school question and the examination of students at Beirut Medical College had been favorably acted upon and papers sent to palace for the Sultan's approval.

This I have no reason to doubt, but as nothing can be considered finished here until an imperial decree has been issued and official notitication received, I did not feel warranted in accepting the statement of the minister for foreign affairs that I could consider these two matters settled; consequently I advised his excellency that it would be impossible for me to longer delay the demand for an audience.

I think the minister for foreign affairs fully appreciated the courtesy that has been shown him, and that he has done everything in his power to hasten a settlement. I have endeavored to make the demand

for personal audience with His Majesty in as polite a manner as possible. As the Sultan is always averse to discussing business direct with the legation whenever possible, it is quite probable that every effort will be made to avoid the audience.

In addition to the two questions particularly referred to in the President's message, I have been pressing the Porte to settle a number of others which have been the subject of controversy between the Sublime Porte and the legation for many months. The list includes Doctor Banks's petition for permit to make excavations near Bagdad, emigration of wives and minor children of naturalized American citizens of Ottoman origin, the removal of prohibition of American pork which has existed for a number of years, permission for extension and new buildings at Robert College, etc., several smaller questions, such as the detention by the custom-house of safes imported by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, etc., having been satisfactorily adjusted since my return,

It is my intention to insist upon a prompt settlement of all these questions, and, unless otherwise instructed by the Department, will pursue the matter on lines indicated in my previous communication. I have, etc.,



Mr. Leishman to the imperial ministry for foreign affairs.

Note verbale.]


Constantinople, February 16, 1903. The minister of the United States of America presents his compliments to the imperial minister for foreign affairs and begs his excellency to kindly demand for him an audience with His Imperial Majesty in order that the minister may convey a personal message from the President of the United States and at the same time bring to the attention of His Imperial Majesty some questions that have been pending for some time past, which the American Government is desirous of having settled.

The American minister ventures to hope that His Imperial Majesty will graciously grant this audience at the earliest date possible.

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]


Constantinople, February 24, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that as he has received no reply to his formal demand for audience with the Sultan, he has again brought the matter to the attention of the Sublime Porte, and states that unless the demand is granted within a reasonable length of time it would seem to him almost a necessity to take other action, as the failure to even reply can only be viewed as disrespectful to the President and at the same time undignified treatment to the American Government.)

Mr. Leishman states that he is pushing the particular cases mentioned in the President's message, as well as other matters, as energetically as possible.)

Mr. Fay to Mr. Leishman.



Washington, February 25, 1903. (Replying to Mr. Leishman's telegram of February 24, Mr. Hay states that the Government of the United States recognizes the established right of the diplomatic reprezentative of a foreign Government to ask audience of the President in order to present a personal message from his sovereign, and claims the same right for its envoys abroad. This right pertains to the comity of direct intercourse between the chiefs of sovereign States and does not depend on the grade of the diplomatic representative who conveys the message. Bearing such a message the agent has the ambassadorial right of audi ence to present it. It can not be denied without giving grave cause of offense to the sender.

Mr. Leishman is therefore instructed to demand audience of the Sultan to deliver a personal message from the President.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Tay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.)


Constuntinople, February 28, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that no exception has been taken by the Sublime Porte to the propriety of his repeated demand for audience with the Sultan in order to deliver the President's message, but that failure to comply or even to reply must at least be construed as a deliberate attempt to avoid an interview, and as Mr. Leishman does not feel warranted in treating the present question with the usual unlimited amount of patience or permitting delay beyond the point that would be compatible with the dignity of the American Government and its honored Chief, he would be pleased to have the Department of State instruct him as to how long it deems it proper for him to wait, and what further action it desires him to take.)

Mr. llay to Mr. Leishman.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.)


Washington, February 28, 1903. (Mr. Hay inquires if Mr. Leishman has made renewed formal demand for an audience with the Sultan as instructed in Mr. Hay's telegram of February 25; and if so, when?)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. llay.



Constantinople, March 1, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that his first formal demand for audience with the Sultan was made in writing on February 16 and a note sent on February 24 asking for a reply. Upon receipt of Mr. Hay's telegram of February 25 Mr. Leishman personally called the attention of the minister for foreign affairs to the gravity of failure to comply, but did not mention the question of procedure, merely maintaining the position assumed from the beginning, that his right to demand an audience to deliver a personal message from the President was unquestionable, which right has not been questioned by the Porte, nor has Mr. Leishman any reason to believe that it will be.

Mr. Leishman does not believe that any disrespect is intended, but that the delay is merely due to Turkish methods; that they read the message, which was sent open, and his opinion is that an effort is being made to defer the audience until after matters are adjusted with the hope that the audience will not be insisted upon and even if the demand is adhered to that only the complimentary part of the message will be presented with added thanks for favors granted.

The minister for foreign affairs is always most polite in stating that a reply from the palace has not yet been received.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Tlay.

No. 364.]


Constantinople, March 1, 1903. Sir: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your cablegram of February 28, and have just forwarded my reply.

As indicated in cable, I am quite of the opinion that no disrespect is meant, and no real intention exists to refuse audience, and were it not for the fact of the President being personally interested I would have ventured to recommend a little more grace, as in addition to the congested state of affairs and pressing financial needs, the Sultan has been busily occupied for the past two weeks considering the demand made

powers for reforms in Macedonia; but having made the demand for audience in the President's name I could not treat the matter on general lines, as I could accept no excuse for the failure to at least reply to the President's communication, and even prior to your cable I had brought the matter very forcibly to the personal attention of the minister for foreign affairs, impressing upon him the grave position that the President would be warranted in assuming in the event of the demand which has been made in his name not receiving prompt and proper attention.

An audience is seldom granted, even to an ambassador, except on Friday after the Salamlik ceremony, and as several of the ambassadors generally attend the Salamlik and must be accorded an audience, the

by the

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