No. 109.

Mr. Young to Mr. Bayard.

No. 673.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a notification issued by M. Patenôtre, the French minister, to the effect that the Government of France will, from the 26th of February, regard the transport of rice as an act contraband of war.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 673.—Translation.]

Letter of Mr. Patenôtre to the foreign representatives at Shanghai.

rice to be considered contraband of war.

The Government of the Republic informs me that all the powers have been officially informed that from the 26th of this month rice will be considered and treated as contraband of war. Cargoes of rice will be liable to seizure on the same ground as arms and ammunition.

Admiral Courbet has consequently been requested to adopt measures for exercising the right of search on vessels leaving Shanghai. It remains understood that with the exception of the above-mentioned article all merchandise can be freely carried.

Persisting in its desire to spare as far as possible neutral commerce, the Government of the Republic authorizes me to add that it renews, as far as Shanghai and Woosung are concerned, the assurances already given by M. Lemaire in the letter which he addressed the 26th August of last year to the doyen of the consular body. No attack will therefore be made against these two ports as long as the statu quo is not altered on the part of China.

This declaration will have, I hope, the effect of dissipating any alarm which the possible presence of French vessels in the neighborhood of the Yantze might occasion to the population of Shanghai. The ships cruising in those parts will have no other mission than to oppose the carrying of contraband of war.

Pray accept, &c.,