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By order of the Imperial Cotton Commission for Smyrna and Anatolia, September 25, 1862.
RESHAD, President pro tem.
IMPERIAL COTTON COMMISSION.
The Sublime Porte having been authorized by an imperial iradeh to take measures for the encouragement of cotton cultivation throughout the empire instructed his excellency Savfet Effendi, minister of commerce and public works, to address an ordinance to his excellency the governor general of Smyrna for the institution of a commission for these provinces.
In pursuance of this ordinance, his excellency Mehemed Reshid Pasha invited the gentlemen named in the commission to attend at the konak on Thursday, the 18th, when there were assembled his excellency Neshet Bey, political commissary; Colonel Reshad Bey, imperial railway commissary; Mr. Hyde Clarke, Mr. Rees, Major Mustapha Effendi, imperial railway commissary, and Diran Effendi, secretary interpreter of his excellency the governor. His excellency the Pasha began the proceedings by directing Mehemed Ali Effendi, secretary of the konak, to draw up a record of the sitting. His excellency then said that as all the commissioners present spoke French, as he had read in Turkish and was well acquainted with it, he had, in conformity with the desire of the government, had a translation made into French by Diran Effendi; and as he considered it highly important the English members who had been invited to co-operate should have full opportunity of participating in the proceedings, he should call on Diran Effendi to read the French translation instead of the Turkish original. The members having thanked his excellency for his courtesy, the ordinance was read, a translation of which will be found above.
His excellency then called on the gentlemen to state whether they proposed to accept the invitation of the government; to which they unanimously assented, and the record was drawn up, and his excellency declared the commission constituted, appointing Reshad Bey temporary president until a permanent president should be appointed.
His excellency having made some observations on his experience in cottongrowing, and on some of his experiments on American seed, briefly explained the principal objects on which the government wished to consult the commission. His excellency said he was very desirous the time of the merchants should be consulted, and hoped they would meet at some place which was convenient to them; but he stated one of the council rooms in the konak was quite at their service, and that he trusted they would so arrange the meetings that once a week or once a fortnight they would meet at the konak. As they were a re, his public engagements were numerous, but he felt a deep and permanent aterest in this important subject of the policy of the imperial government, an' he would always try and devote some time to them. They, like himself, were men of business, and he doubted not that in an hour or two they would accomplish a good deal of useful work.
These observations the members promised to communicate to their colleagues, and, having taken leave, retired.
H. Ex. Doc. 63- -37
The commission immediately proceeded to work, for, on the suggestion of his excellency the governor general, the subject of Mr. Rees's cotton-cleaning establishments was taken into consideration at a special meeting, at which Mr. Paterson was present.
On Monday, the 21st, a meeting was held at the English Club, attended by the following commissioners : Neshet Bey, Reshad Bey, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Whittall, Mr. Paterson, Mr. Rees, Mr. Lafontaine, Major Mustapha Effendi, and Diran Effendi. The ordinance of the minister of commerce was taken into consideration, and Mr. Clarke was unanimously chosen vice-president. Boghos Effendi, retired functionary of the foreign office, was appointed chief secretary, on the ground of his knowledge of Turkish, English, and French.
The translation and promulgation of the ordinance was discussed, and instructions were given for drawing up a preliminary report.
On Thursday the commission met at the English Club. Present: Reshad Bey, Mr. Clarke, Neshet Bey, Mr. Whittall, Mr. Paterson, Mr. Rees, Mr. Peter Gout, Mr. Lafontaine, and Diran Effendi. Reshad Bey announced that the governor general had given instructions for printing the ordinance in Turkish, Greek, Armenian, and French, for distribution within the province. The commission took measures for printing the English translation and circulating it in England.
The committee adopted a report entering fully into the propositions of the government.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday at the konak.
On Thursday the imperial cotton commission met in the council room of the konak-Mr. Hyde Clarke, vice-president, in the chair, with Mr. Whittall, Mr. Paterson, Mr. Lafontaine, Mr. Peter Gout, Diran Effendi, and Mr. Rees. His excellency Mehemed Reshid Pasha held a conference with the commission. The members availed themselves of the first opportunity after their appointment to pay their respects to his excellency, and to report to him their proceedings.
Mr. Rees submitted to his excellency some standard specimens of cotton of Mr. Clarke, of Sokia. Mr. Peter Gout produced some ripened and unripened pods, respectively of American and Egyptian seed, grown on his chiftlick in this province. The specimens were directed to be sent to his excellency Savfet Effendi, minister of commerce at Constantinople.
His excellency the Pasha directed Diran Effendi to produce the Turkish, Armenian, Greek, and French copies printed of the decree of the minister of commerce, and took the opinion of the commission thereon.
His excellency called the attention of the commission to the seed question, and the necessity of making provision for next year's supply. The members of the commission were unanimously of opinion that American seed is that which succeeds best, but the difficulty of getting it is at this time great. Next to American, Egyptian is most available. The commission undertook to obtain reports on the seed question.
The attention of his excellency was called to the abuse of the Bozook in the haza of Memien, and those of Denishe, whereby the herdsmen let their cattle enter the cotton-fields, which, being a late crop, is exposed to their ravages. His excellency expressed his determination to adopt severe measures to prevent
November 29, 1862. In compliance with your instructions contained in the circular despatch of July 31, 1862, which reached here only a short time ago, I communicated immediately with the local authorities on the subject to which it refers, and I have the honor of enclosing translated copies of my correspondence in regard to the same.
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Smyrna, October 28, 1862. Excellency: In compliance to instructions which I have received from the honorable Secretary of State of the United States, I have the honor to inform you that the privilege of purchasing supplies from the public warehouses, duty free, is extended to the ships-of-war of any nation in ports of the United States which may reciprocate such privilege towards the ships-of-war of the United States in its ports, and the honorable Secretary of State instructs me to ask your excellency if the same privilege will be extended to ships-of-war of the United States in this port. His Excellency Mehemet Rechid Pasha,
Governor General of the Province of Smyrna.
GEMASILEVEL 20, 1278, NOVEMBER 12, 1862. Sir: The United States consul having addressed me an official letter, translation of which I herein enclose, you will please inform me if your instructions permit you to allow United States ships-of-war to take in their provisions free of duty.
(SEAL OF THE GOVERNOR.) CHIEFKET BET, Collector of the Customs, Smyrna.
GEMASILEVEL 20, NovemBER 12, 1862. ExceLLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed letter, with the translation of the letter addressed to you by the honorable consul of the United States of America at Smyrna, and beg to inform your excellency, in reply, that ships-of-war of foreign nations have invariably been allowed to take in their provisions free of duty.
(SEAL OF CHIEF COLLECTOR.] His Excellency MEHEMET Rechid Pacha,
Governor General of the Province of Smyrna.
GEMASILEVEL 28, NOVEMBER 20, 1862. SIR : On receipt of your esteemed favor requesting me to inform you if United States ships-of-war are allowed to take in their provisions free of duty, I transmitted translation of same to the chief collector, and have the pleasure of sending you herewith copy of his reply.
(SEAL OF THE GOVERNOR. Julius Bing, Esq., United States Consul, Smyrna.
December 1, 1862. I have the honor to inform you that the most marked feature in the commerce with the United States in the current year has been in the development of business in cotton and wool. The first shipment of cotton ever made from Smyrna to America was made at my suggestion in February last, and has been followed up by shipments to the extent of about $200,000. So great has become the demand for cotton that the article has been taken out of old beddings, furniture, &c., and exported to England and the United States. The new cotton crop is estimated at about 60,000 bales, and owing to the efforts of the cotton committee appointed by the Sublime Porte, and to which I had the honor to refer in previous despatches, and to the distribution of Egyptian and American seed, a great increase in the production may be expected next year.
American seed is preferred to all others, and we could not take more efficacious means for the promotion of the growth of cotton than by furnishing supplies of the same to the planters in Asia Minor, and I trust that measures to that effect will be taken by our government.
I have called the attention of the trade here to cotton gins and to agricultural implements, and in my despatch No. 52 I took the liberty to request you to call the attention of American manufacturers to the same. The demand for these articles will increase in this market in the same proportion that progress is being made in the production of cotton and of cereals, and the prospects for such progress are very fair, the attention of the Turkish government being now diligently directed to the promotion of agricultural interests.
Navigation of Smyrna with foreign countries for the year 1860, in which the United States figure to the extent of 15,810,460 piasters or about $600,000 for imports, and 24,518,706 piasters or about $900,000 for exports.
I shall have the pleasure of forwarding the statistics for 1861 and 1862 as soon as I shall be able to obtain authentic information in regard to the same.
JERUSALEM.-FRANKLIN ALCOTT, Consul.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1862. Conformably to the instructions of the President, by which the consuls of the United States are required to transmit from time to time to the department information of the condition of their respective consulates, and of the state of trade,
agriculture, and manufactures, in the districts within which they severally exercise consular jurisdiction, I have the honor to transmit the following report :
It is reported that a line of railway will be soon inaugurated between this city and Jaffa. The nature of the country will render the execution of this enterprise extremely difficult, which, together with the fact that its projectors have applied to the Porte for financial assistance, renders it highly probable that it will be abandoned, at least for the present. There can be no doubt that this project, if carried out, would greatly conduce to develop the resources of the country, to bring its people into closer and more sympathetic connexion with western ideas and habits of thought, and to correct, in a great measure, their prejudices against foreign innovations as unnatural and unhealthy, and as calculated to cripple their strength and undermine their institutions.
It is presumed that the department is already aware that the export trade of Palestine is confined almost exclusively to the states bordering on the Mediterranean, viz. : France, Italy, and Austria. This trade, however, is at present, and has for many years been, declining. Owing to the imbecility and injustice of the local government, which has neither the inclination to investigate nor the ability to correct the abuses of its agents and factors, and the turbulent and warlike disposition of the mixed populations, nominally subject to its control, the resources of the country are being rapidly wasted, whereas, under more favorable auspices, they might be almost indefinitely increased.
The manufactures of Palestine, few and rude as they are, are almost entirely dependent upon the travellers who annually resort thither from motives of piety, study, or curiosity. They consist for the most part of glassware, (for which considerable quantities of borax are annually imported from Egypt,) straw matting, and wooden ware.
Agriculture is generally neglected. The staple products are wheat, barley, doura, cotton, and olive oil. But little more is cultivated than is sufficient to supply the wants of the population, the residue is shipped in English and French bottoms to Trieste, Messina, and Marseilles.
Perhaps if the government could or would interfere for the protection of the laboring classes (the Fellahin) against the rapacious incursions of the neighboring Bedouins the agricultural interests of Palestine might improve. At present, however, I see no prospect of a change for the better.
The climate of the plains about Jaffa and the neighborhood of the Dead sea is favorable to the cultivation of cotton and the sugar cane.
The fibre of the first quality of cotton is fine and strong, though the staple is short. Considerable quantities of barley, doura, sesame, and tobacc are grown in the mountainous regions. Olive oil and sesame are exported to France.
The principal imports consist of hardware and cotton and woollen goods from England, and sugar and coffee (from West Indian plantations) from France. There is no exchange on the United States. The American dollar is worth 25 piasters; the sovereign is worth from 125 to 127, and the Napoleon from 96 to 101.
November 10, 1862. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, about two weeks since, of your circular bearing date July 31, 1862. I have communicated its contents to the government of this paschalik, agreeably to intructions; but have not been able to obtain any satisfactory information touching the topics to which it called my attention.
The Pasha professes to be entirely ignorant of the privileges which his government has been in the habit of extending to the armed vessels of the United States calling at its ports, and says, however, that until he shall have received definite instructions as to what course he must pursue in the premises, the privileges which such vessels may have enjoyed will not be in the least abridged.