Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sultan seizes upon the excuse of prior engagement, or fatigue, etc., to avoid an audience with others. * * *

Pending further instructions from the Department I shall continue to press the minister for foreign affairs for a reply to my demand for audience, and will keep you fully posted by cable of any change in the situation. I have, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN.

Mr. Tlay to Mr. Leishman.

[Telegram.--Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 3, 1903. (Mr. Hay instructs Mr. Leishman to make a paraphrase of the Department's telegram of February 25, which states the position of the United States Government in regard to the delivery of the President's message to the Sultan, to read it to the minister for foreign affairs and give him a copy, giving him also a memorandum in writing stating that if audience is not granted within three days Mr. Leishman will be constrained to report to his Government and act upon its definite instructions.

Mr. Leishman is instructed to make it clear to the minister for foreign affairs that the President deems it due to right and comity that his message should be received without delay.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

[Telegram.--Paraphrase.)
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 4, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that he has formally presented the matter to the minister for foreign affairs in accordance with telegraphic instruction of March 3.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 4, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that he has received no reply about an audience, but that from information received through a very reliable source he is more inclined to credit the statement made by the minister for foreign affairs several weeks ago that Beirut and general school affairs could be considered settled, as his informants state that papers are being prepared and that official confirmation may reasonably be expected within a few days.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Jay. No. 367.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 4, 1903. Sir: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your cable of yesterday instructing me to present another formal demand for audience, which has been done both by personal call upon the minister for foreign affairs and in writing as per memorandum hereto attached.

The minister for foreign affairs thoroughly appreciates the situation and the correctness and justice of the demand, and is apparently doing everything in his power to facilitate a settlement and secure desired audience, but unfortunately he is absolutely without independent power to act. . I have, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN,

[Inclosure 1.]
Mr. Leishman to Tevfik Pasha.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 4, 1903. Your EXCELLENCY: Referring to my note of February 16, requesting an audience with his Imperial Majesty in order to present a personal message from the President of the United States, and to my subsequent appeals that this matter be given the consideration due to the dignity of the President of the United States of America, in accordance with the rights and comity existing between friendly nations.

In the absence of any reply to above-mentioned demand I now feel myself obliged to advise your excellency that unless an audience be granted within the next three days in order to enable me to present to his Imperial Majesty the personal message from the President, I shall be constrained to report to my Government and act upon its definite instructions. With the hope that I may be favored with an early reply, I take this occasion, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN.

[Inclosure 2.—Memorandum.] The American Government recognize the established right of the diplomatic representative of a foreign government to demand an audience of the President in order to present a personal message from his sovereign, and claims the same right for its envoys abroad bearing such a message. The agent has the ambassadorial right to present it, and this right can not be denied without giving grave cause of offense to the sender.

Mr. Ilay to Mr. Leishman.
[Telegram.- Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 5, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that the fixation of a reasonably near date for audience will suffice; that his instruction contemplates arrangement within three days.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 5, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that the statement made by the minister for foreign affairs several weeks ago to the effect that the question of examinations of the students of American medical school at Beirut had been favorably acted upon is officially confirmed by a note verbale, dated March 5, advising that an Imperial iradé has been issued authorizing the sending of a special jury to Beirut to participate in the examinations.)

Mr. llay to Mr. Leishman.
[Telegram.-- Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 5, 1903. (Mr. Ilay directs Mr. Leishman to express to the Sultan, when granted an audience, the President's gratification at the issuance of iradé in regard to Beirut examinations.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

[Telegram.--Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 6, 1903. (Mr. Leishman reports that Yussuf Bey, secretary of the ministry for foreign affairs, has just called to inform him that His Imperial Majesty regrets exceedingly not having been able to accord the desired audience ere this, explaining the circumstances that prevented it, and at the same advising Mr. Leishman that an audience would be granted him as soon after the Coorban Bairaj ceremonies as possible, presumably on Friday next, but that the exact date would be notified later.)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Ilay.

No. 370.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, March 7, 1903. Sir: I beg to inclose herewith copy of correspondence between Messrs. Post and Peet and the legation in regard to the general school question, also copy of note to the Porte accompanying list of schools.

It has been my endeavor from the beginning to secure, if possible, a definite acknowledgment of the principle of equal treatment rather than accept firmans for the schools already established, with merely implied or tacit acceptance on the part of the Ottoman Government of the principle.

Of course it would be much more satisfactory to have a clear and definite expression from the Ottoman Government acknowledging the principle in toto, and I am still using every effort to secure this, but it is always very difficult to get a clear and unqualified expression from the Ottoman Government on any subject, and should the Porte fail to comply and merely send a note similar to that sent in the English case, granting imperial recognition to the schools, hospitals, etc., already established, as per list furnished by the missionaries, which is supposed to cover each and every institution, I would not feel warranted in pressing my demand further for recognition of the question in principle without special instruction from the Department, for, while I have assumed that the Department would approve my endeavoring to secure more, I would not feel warranted in carrying this assumption to the extent that it would sanction my pressing a demand for more than what has been accorded to others.

Consequently I have only felt justified in assuring the representatives of the missionaries in Turkey, Messrs. Post and Peet, that all I could guarantee was that the Government would not accept less than what had been granted to similar institutions under the protection of other nations.

I have found it rather difficult at times to carry out the wishes of the Department and at the same time please the missionaries and keep on friendly terms with the Turks, but I am still in hopes of being able to secure an adjustment that will prove satisfactory to all parties.

With the hope that my line of action will continue to meet with your approval, I have, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN..

[Inclosure 1.) Mr. Leishman to the imperial ministry of foreign affairs. Note verbal.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Conslantinople, February 25, 1903. In reply to the note verbale which the Sublime Porte has hail the kindness to address, under date of February 24, the legation of the United States of America begs to advise the ministry of foreign affairs that, while it can not change from the position assumed in its note of February 6, it begs to inclose herewith as complete a Îist as it has in its possession of the American educational, charitable, and religious institutions established in the Ottoman Empire which would be covered by the settlement in principle that the Imperial Government recognizes and grants to any and all American educational, charitable, and religious institutions throughout the Ottoman Empire the same rights, privileges, and immunities that have or may be granted to similar instituțions belonging to or under the protection of any other nation.

The legation is under the impression that the list inclosed is quite complete, with proper allowance for any error or omission, but if, after the settlement of the principle involved, the Sublime Porte should desire any further detailed information, the legation will be most happy to place itself at the disposition of the ministry of foreign affairs, and in case of any omission in the said list the legation reserves the privilege to supplement and complete it later.

[Inclosure 2.)

Messrs. Post and Peel to Mr. Leishman.

OFFICE OF W. W, PEET,
TREASURER OF THE AMERICAN MISSIONS IN TURKEY,

Bible House, Slamboul, March 3, 1903. Sir: We have your communication of the 25th instant, in which you say that you have filed at the Porte a list of American institutions in Turkey "in response to the further request evidenced in the note verbale of the ministry of foreign affairs of the 24th instant,” and in view also of the fact that you have ascertained that both the French and English embassies filed a list at the time of making their demand.

We also note that you continue to maintain your demand, "that we desire the matter settled in principle."

The filing of the list has always been associated in our minds with the procuring of permits for individual institutions, a step subject to all the delays that the procaring

of information from the various localities entails. If, therefore, our attention and that of the legation, so far as it is bestowed upon this case, is now directed to this feature, the greater and more important question will be likely to be obscured or whoily lost sight of. So great is our anxiety on this point, in view of our instructions from our committee in the United States, that we can not refrain from pointing out that the demand as embodied in your note to the Porte of September 26, 1902, in which the case was opened, and your subsequent note of February 6, 1903, in which the former demand is reiterated, makes no request for permits or concessions for individual institutions, but simply asks for the grant in general terms, like, for example, that accorded to France in November, 1901.

We have been assured by competent authority that all the then existing French institutions in Turkey were on a certain day in November, 1901, by a single Imperial edict, transformed from unauthorized institutions to those recognized as fully authorized and legally established. These same institutions were the day before wholly lacking in the eyes of the Government any form of authorization whatever.

To obtain a recognition and legalization at all commensurate with that which was then conferred is usually attended with great expense and vexatious delays covering years in duration. Regulations and laws, so called, are cited as requiring fulfillinent, local bureaus and departments require to be consulted and satisfied, but in the case referred to we see all these requirements overridden and Imperial recognition granted, and a legal status admitted to all the institutions of a nation “en bloc" when at the time these same institutions we know were wholly lacking any form of local or governmental authorization whatever.

The test for admission into the category of institutions so recognized as legal by the highest authority in the Empire was simply that of existence at the moment as a French institution.

Whether or not the Porte was in possession of a complete list of the institutions on which His Majesty the Sultan was conferring a peculiar and unique rank, and from a governmental standpoint, a legal existence which hitherto had been un recognized, it is certain that the grant refers to no detailed list of the individual institutions to which it applies, but comprehends all existing French institutions. And furthermore, the terms of the grant show that on its issuance the provincial authorities were notified to the effect that all French institutions had had their disabilities removed and were henceforth to be reckoned as legally established.

The grant as it has been officially confirmed to us is in substance as follows:

“By a letter written in virtue of an Imperial Iradé mentioned in that letter, the Ottoman minister for foreign affairs declares that the Porte, after having acceded to our first demands accepts the new demands of France, viz:

"(1) Recognizes the legal status of our existing schools, and grants them the customs immunities stipulated in the treaties and conventions in force.

".(2) Recognizes the legal existence of our present charitable and religious establishments, and grants them exemption from the land tax, and the customs immunities stipulated in the treaties and conventions in force.

'(3) Authorizes the construction, repair, or enlargement of the scholastic, charitable, or religious establishments damaged or destroyed during the events of 1894, 1895, and 1896 in Asiatic Turkey and at Constantinople.

"'(4) Undertakes to regard as fully and legally authorized the foundations, enlargements, constructions, and repairs we may desire in the future to effect, if, after being warned of our intention, the Imperial Government has not raised objections within the delay of six months.'

Moreover, the documents proving that the decisions enumerated above are put into execution have been communicated to the French embassy in Constantinople."

To obtain for the American institutions in the Turkish Empire a grant equal to that conferred by His Majesty upon the similar institutions of France in November, 1901, is to our minds the first step to be taken in this matter. We have, therefore, learned with satisfaction through your note to Doctor Post, February 20, that the council of ministry has passed favorably upon this matter, sending their decision to the Palace for Imperial sanction, and that you have asked for an audience of His Majesty.

Will it not be possible to hasten this and to make it, when obtained, the opportunity for asking that this feature of the case be satisfactorily completed? We have good reason for asserting our belief that our Government will extend to you in the endeavor to obtain this its powerful influence and help, and to secure this end we will continue to use what influence we can command through our friends at home. Yours, faithfully,

GEORGE E. Post.
WILLIAM W. PEET.

« PreviousContinue »