to Mr. Evarts.
Peking, July 29, 1879. (Received September 29.)
Sir: In my dispatch No. 451 I informed you that the diplomatic body here had decided to take up certain general questions of great public interest for discussion in September next.
As a preparatory step, I have thought best to request our consuls in China to furnish me full information regarding the course heretofore followed by them in civil cases arising between the Chinese and our people. I have also asked them for their opinions as to whether the system of trial of such cases in mixed courts, or in the court of the defendant, is preferable.
I have the honor to band to you, herewith, a copy of my circular requesting the information indicated above.
I have, &c.,