to Mr. Evarts
Peking , February 23, 1878. (Received May 3.)
Sir: I informed you on the 9th instant that the foreign office had sent to the several foreign representatives the Shanghai harbor rules, and that objections had been made on the part of the latter, that the note transmitting them was not in a desirable form. After much discussion among the foreign representatives, the senior minister placed the matter before the foreign office, and the ministers agreed to withdraw the earlier notes and substitute others which would be satisfactory. They did this at once. I hand to you herewith a memorandum by Mr. Holcombe, showing the change effected in this way.
I have already announced to the foreign office my approval of the rules. I presume that my colleagues have done the same, or will do so at an early moment. I have also prepared an instruction for the vice-consul-general, a copy of which I inclose.
The question in regard to the harbor rules having been thus disposed of, I have prepared and submitted to my colleagues a memorandum on the subject of river conservation, a copy of which I inclose.
It will receive, as I hope, early consideration, but I cannot yet venture an opinion as to the conclusions which will be taken.
I have, &c.,