Mr. Bingham to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Tokio, October 4, 1882. (Received October 28.)
Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 679, of the 11th of August last, in relation to the 47th section of the British order in council of 1881, for China and Japan, I beg leave to acquant you that I am in receipt of a communication from Mr. Consul Stahel, of date the 19th ultimo, in which he inclosed for my information a dispatch on the same subject, addressed to him by Mr. Mr. Woolley, Her Britannic Majesty’s acting consul in Kobe, a copy of which dispatch of Mr. Woolley I have the honor to inclose herewith.
It is gratifying to note that Mr. Woolley recognizes and accepts what I said to Mr. Stahel in my instruction to him of the 1st of July last, a copy of which I had the honor to inclose with my dispatch to you, No. 1523, to wit: That British subjects could only claim the right to maintain civil actions in our consular courts in Japan upon the principle of mutual comity $ in other words, whatever privileges were accorded by our Government in the premises to British subjects should be accorded [Page 601]by Her Britannic Majesty’s Government to American citizens in the British consular courts of Japan.
Understanding your said instruction No. 679 to approve my views in this behalf, and believing it my duty to respect the same, I have accordingly instructed Mr. Stahel by a dispatch of date the 2d instant that he should consent to the submission by citizens of the United States to the jurisdiction of British courts, as required by said section 47 of Her Majesty’s order in council in all civil actions instituted by them against British subjects, upon condition expressly stated by our consul in his written consent to such submission, that a like submission should be made in all civil cases by British subjects who institute actions against American citizens in our consular courts in Japan. You will please observe that Mr. Woolley says to Consul Stahel—
Your consent, if given, will be considered as having been given upon this understanding, or, if you desire, it [your consent] may be accompanied by a statement that it is given upon this understanding.
I consider my advice to Consul Stahel on the 2d instant as herein reported to be in consonance with your instruction in your No. 679, that the comity we extend to British subjects in Japan “must of course be extended to Americans suing in British consular courts in Japan.
I have, &c.,