No. 411.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Bingham.

No. 14.]

Sir: Mr. De Long, in his No. 482, of the 5th of October last, acquainted the Department with negotiations pending in Japan for allowing foreigners to proceed to the interior.

It appears that the negotiations were originated on the motion of the German minister, who proposed that permission should be granted on a deposit of $300 with the Japanese government in each case. The matter then became the subject of discussion among the foreign representatives. They finally agreed to submit to the Japanese government proposals that the leave should be granted on a deposit of $200 with the consul of the applicant’s nationality. It is understood that the Japanese government are now entertaining this proposal. I have therefore to say that the President approves the reduction of the proposed deposit from three hundred to two hundred dollars, but does not approve making the consuls the depositaries. There is no law authorizing the government to incur such responsibility, and it is difficult to perceive how the government could avoid becoming responsible for such deposits, should they be made and received by its authority and consent. Should, therefore, a deposit be insisted upon, which it is hoped will not be the case, you will endeavor to have the regulations so framed that it shall be made with the Japanese government, and you will in no event consent to have it made with consuls of the United States.

I am, &c.,