No. 125.
Mr. Angell to Mr. Evarts.

No. 25.]

Sir: I herewith, inclose a circular letter, which I am issuing to our consuls in China.

[Page 170]

The general pilotage regulations, though drafted by Sir Rutherford Alcock, were submitted to the foreign ministers at Peking and approved by them prior to their promulgation in November, 1868. Sir Thomas Wade therefore recognized the propriety of submitting to fbreign ministers the slight changes suggested by the chief justice of Her Britanic Majesty’s supreme court at Shanghai.

It has seemed to me not improbable that during the twelve years of trial of the regulations some graver defects than those indicated by the chief justice may have become apparent, and that this may be a favorable opportunity to secure any needed improvement.

I inclose subsections 3 and 4 of the regulations.

The judge finds subsection 3, if I understand him, useless, because the laws of Great Britain prescribe no penalty for the offense named, and subsection 4 in conflict with the order in council, which prescribes that only a part of the maximum fine named can be imposed.

I have the honor, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in Mr. Angell’s No. 25.]

Mr. Angell to United States Consuls in China.


Sir: In a case carried up by appeal from the British consular court at Swatow to the supreme court at Shanghai, the chief justice has rendered an opinion (see North China Daily News of August 10) in which he finds subsection 3, of the seventh of the general pilotage regulations, adopted in 1868, in conflict with British statutes, and subsection 4 in conflict with British orders in council.

He has suggested to the British minister that a revision of these subsections be made, and Sir Thomas Wade has submitted the matter to the foreign ministers here for considerations.

It has occurred to me that possibly the experience of twelve years has shown that some considerable modifications, perhaps a general revision, of the regulations may have become desirable. I therefore desire you to inform me—

  • First. Whether, in your opinion, subsections 3 and 4 of the general pilotage regulations need alteration.
  • Secondly. Whether there should be more important modifications of the regulations, or even a complete revision of them.

I am, sir, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in Mr. Angell’s No. 2.]

General Pilotage Regulations.

Regulation VII.

  • Subsection 3. Any one piloting without a license, or making use of another’s license, shall be subject to prosecution before his own authorities who will deal with the offender in accordance with the laws of his country. Any pilot lending his license to another will be proceeded against and dealt with in the same way in addition to forfeiting his license.
  • Subsection 4. Any commanding officer employing an unlicensed person to pilot his vessel will be liable to be fined in the sum of 100 taels by the authorities to whose jurisdiction he is amenable.