to Mr. Bingham.
Washington, December 3, 1874.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 132, dated October 8, has been received. It forwarded to the Department, with other inclosures, a notification of the Japanese government assuring Chinese residents in Japan of protection in their persons and property in the event of war, on observing strict neutrality; a copy of the joint note prepared by the consuls at Shanghai, looking to protection in case of war; and a copy of your note to the minister of foreign affairs requesting the enforcement of the order detaching Mr. Wasson from the Japanese expedition to Formosa.
It is a matter of sincere congratulation that the government of Japan should voluntarily take occasion to assure Chinese residents within that empire of the protection of the government on their observance of strict neutrality. Such voluntary acts go tar to show a real advance in civilization on the part of that empire.[Page 777]
Mr. Seward, the consul-general of the United States at Shanghai, has already communicated to the Department a copy of the joint note of the consuls at Shanghai looking to a state of war.
The reported settlement of the Formosa question renders an examination of any particular plan to secure immunity to the foreign settlements unnecessary. The Department, however, approves the general efforts which have been made in that direction.
Concerning your letter to the minister of foreign affairs in reference to Mr. Wasson, as an order had been issued that he should be detached, your application seems to be a request that such order should be enforced.
It does not seem necessary, in view of the instructions already issued to you, to discuss the general questions which are suggested by the employment of Mr. Wasson.
I am, &c.,