to Mr. Young.
Washington, July 19, 1883.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 207, of May 31 last, relative to the power of Chinese consuls at foreign ports to issue “certificates of identification,” pursuant to the act of Congress of May 6, 1882, to Chinese subjects who purpose visiting the United States.
Your instructions to Mr. Jones, consul at Nagasaki, that such certificate is within the competency of such Chinese officers, are approved.[Page 206]
If any question should arise in the United States ports as to the validity of certificates given to Chinese by their consuls in the ports of a third country, and our courts should decide the invalidity of the certificates under the statute mentioned, it could then be suggested to the Chinese Government that it confer on its consuls express authority to issue such certificates. It is not thought likely, however, that a case will arise.
I am, &c.,