to Mr. Evarts.
Peking, January 14, 1881. (Received March 8.)
Sir: In my dispatch No. 52, of November 22 last, I described the state of the negotiations at that date between the diplomatic body and the foreign office on the subject of transit passes outwards. I referred to the draught of a paper presented by Mr. von Brandt at a conference on November 22, setting forth, at the request of the Tsung-li Yamên, the reasons for the rules suggested by the foreign representatives. A copy of that paper has since been furnished by Mr. von Brandt, and I inclose it. It will be remembered that according to the understanding of the conference, Mr. von Brandt was to present this communication to the foreign office as simply his own, but he was authorized to say at the close of it that the foreign representatives were unable to understand why the Chinese Government should object to Sections II and III, without which the proposed arrangement would not be acceptable.
To the communication of Mr. von Brandt the Tsung-li Yamên, on December 5, sent a reply, a copy of which is inclosed. They still express objections to Sections II and III, and they ask for a list of the native articles which by treaty are duty free.[Page 227]
Owing to the illness of Mr. von Brandt no Conference was held last month. But one was held on the 4th instant and the Yamên’s reply was considered. It was decided to adhere to the propositions before made, save that Rule II should be changed so as to indicate specifically what articles of foreign manufacture or origin, and what articles of foreign or native manufacture or origin, shall be duty free. A copy of the amended Rule II is inclosed.
I have, &c.,