No. 106.

Mr. Young to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 650.]

Sir: I inclose for your information a correspondence with Mr. Consul Wingate at Foo-Chow.

It appears that an American firm asks the good offices of the consul to introduce giant-powder and other explosives to the attention of the Chinese Government. I have said to the consul that any influence he can use to advance an American interest would be a performance of duty. I, however, thought it my duty to say that, considering the friendly relations between France and the United States, the legation could not approve of a consul using his influence to supply the Chinese with articles of war to be used against the French.

I trust that this action will meet with your approval.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 650.]

Mr. Wingate to Mr. Young.

No. 115.]

Sir: I do not usually enter communications like the No. 327 received in my letter-book. Such letters and business circulars are usually treated as unofficial. If I can give any real information to the sender I answer them, but most received are evidently so ill adapted to the demand of this people that I think I am right in concluding that they are merely sent to the consulate because the sender finds the name of the place in the consular directory, and not as expecting an acknowledgment.

In a case like the one under consideration I should, if a proper opportunity offered, speak to an official regarding a manufacture by citizens of the United States, but I could not with propriety go further.

* * * * * * *

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 650.]

The Giant Powder Company to Mr. Wingate.

Sir: Owing to the present outlook for war between China and France, we desire to call your attention to and solicit your aid and advice with regard to placing before the notice of the Chinese Government our explosives.

[Page 157]

The Giant Powder Company’s patents were acquired from the original inventor, Mr. Alfred Noble, both for dynamite powders and his later discovery, the “explosive gelatine,” the strongest of all known explosives.

The name “giant powder” was used for our dynamite powders as being more simple and more acceptable than “dynamite.”

As the Giant Powder Company are to-day the largest manufacturers of high explosives in-the United States and perhaps the world, having extensive, works both in California and the East, and being fully prepared to furnish dynamite in any quantities upon the shortest notice and at prices which defy competition, we desire to enter every field where dynamite is or may be used.

We address you as being in the position to forward our interests, and trust you may be able to place with that Government a quantity of our explosives.

We send you herewith circulars descriptive of the new “explosive gelatine,” and will say that this powder deserves attention, particularly for torpedoes and similar purposes.

We are &c.,

General Agents.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 650.]

Mr. Young to Mr. Wingate.

No. 100.]

Sir: As a further reference to your dispatch, No. 115, I have the honor to note your comments in regard to the letter you inclose from a San Francisco firm, offering to sell the Chinese explosive materials. Your action seems to have been judicious. The proper custom in all such cases, the one which the legation follows, is to send the application to some mercantile firm and allow the business to take its course. If it should be in the power of a consul to advance an American interest by speaking to the Chinese authorities in commendation of the interest or in explanation of its merits, or giving an assurance of its integrity, there is no reason why this should not be done, taking due care to show that your action is official, not personal. At the present time, however, I should refrain from commending to the Chinese any manufacture, like powder or firearms or any other agency which could be used for a warlike purpose against France. Our relations with France are friendly, and I wish nothing done by any consular officer, even in an informal manner, that might be regarded as a violation of the strictest neutrality.

I am, &c.,