to Mr. Bingham.
Washington , January 7, 1875.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 158, treating of the subject of the power of the representatives of the United States in Japan to make regulations, having the force of law, in reference to licenses, has been received, and your general views as therein expressed are believed to coincide with the views heretofore expressed by this Department.[Page 783]
This Department is of opinion that no such power has been conferred upon the minister of the United States as is claimed by the representative of Great Britain over British subjects in Japan.
It is believed that action by Congress on these questions is desirble, either by the enactment of certain provisions of law binding upon citizens of the United States in Japan, or by providing for a delegation of the power to make such enactments.
Before taking definite action in this matter, the Department desires to be informed what powers, if any, are claimed by the consular board, as such, to make regulations on this subject, and whether this power is claimed by the several consuls to have been conferred by their separate governments; and what authority exists therefor; and what authority on these questions has been conferred by the other treaty-powers upon their ministers in Japan.
The Department further desires to be informed by what authority the general, municipal, and police regulations of Yokohama, or other towns, are adopted and made binding, and what difference there may be in this respect in the towns occupied by foreigners.
Full information on these questions is desired.
I am, &c.,