No. 228.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Bingham.

No. 35.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 57, I have to say that you may accept from Sir Harry S. Parkes the sum of $5,833.33, amount due the United [Page 675] States from the new installment of the Simonoseki indemnity, as special damages, according to the arrangement made between the four powers; and, when paid, you may remit it by bill to Messrs. Morton, Rose & Co., in London, to be passed to the credit of the United States.

The subject of releasing the Japanese government from the payment of the residue of the indemnity has been twice before Congress without action. Had the other powers interested refrained from collecting their portions, this Government would not have been disposed to press for its portion, notwithstanding the refusal of Congress to act on the subject. But as the other governments interested have been paid, you will make known to the Japanese government our expectation of being treated in the same manner, and your readiness to receive an installment equivalent to the sums paid to each of the other powers. When this shall be paid to you, you will, in like manner, remit it to Messrs. Morton, Rose & Co., to be placed to the credit of the United States, and will in each case notify the Department of your action.

* * * * * * *

It has been the policy of the United States to act in concert with European powers in Oriental matters. The President has considered your suggestions respecting possible political or commercial objects of other powers conflicting with the interests of the United States, and he has come to the conclusion that it is for the interest of this country to continue the harmonious co-operative action which has been maintained by your predecessors. Treaty advantages gained by any other power must inure equally to the benefit of the United States under the provisions of article 9 of the treaty of 1854. If by reason of want of inertness of capital caused by a vicious system of taxation, American citizens cannot take advantage of them for the moment, the disabilities cannot last long, and the time must inevitably come when Americans will enter and enjoy the rich field which may be explored and opened by others for their use.

The Department, therefore, desires that you will act in harmony with your European colleagues as your predecessors have acted. If at any time you differ with them, there will probably be time enough allowed you to take the opinion of your government. Should there not be, you will act on your own judgment, assured that your action will be appreciatingly judged by the Department.

Respecting the particular proposal of your colleagues for liberty to visit the interior, you will accede to it, with the modification as to Americans, respecting the proposed payment to consuls, which was suggested by my No. 14 of the 7th November.

I am, &c.,