No. 203.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 453.]

Sir: On the 3d instant I received from the foreign office a copy of the “National-Bank Laws,” a translation of which, made by Mr. Thompson, I have the honor to inclose herewith for the information of the Department.

I am informed that this government has issued under these laws, as lawful money in this empire, about $100,000,000 in paper bills, for the redemption of which in coin no provision of law seems to exist, and which are received by the people at par in all transactions.

You will observe by articles 48 and 50 it is provided that these bills issued by the government to the banks shall be received in the same manner as coin in all government bureaus and banks, and in payment of taxes, salaries, and all other debts and dues except the interest on bonds and customs duties; and that those who refuse to receive the notes or attempt to hinder their circulation, or do any other unlawful act affecting this currency, shall be punished.

I have, &c.,