No. 123.

Mr. Cheng Tsao Ju to Mr. Bayard.


Referring to the second rule of the circular dated December 6, 1884, issued by the Secretary of the Treasury for the admission of Chinese persons of the exempt class under the act of July 5, 1884, that “Chinese subjects, not laborers, desiring to come to the United States from countries other than China, may do so on production of a certificate corresponding to that required by section 6 of the act of July 5, 1884, to be issued by a Chinese diplomatic or consular officer, or if there be no such Chinese officer stationed at such port, on a like certificate to be [Page 185] issued by a United States consular officer,” the Chinese minister begs to state that the Chinese merchants, not laborers, residing in Hong-Kong, constantly go to and from New York and San Francisco, or Cuba, Peru, and other places, via the United States, on commercial business; and that there is in Hong-Kong no Chinese official, but there is a United States consul. Starting from Hong-Kong, where there is no Chinese official to issue them certificates for their entry into or transit through the United States, these merchants can only, in compliance with the rule stated above, apply to the United States consul there for the same. The Secretary of State is respectfully requested to instruct the newly appointed United States consul to Hong-Kong to issue to such Chinese merchants certificates in accordance with the law and circular mentioned. This would greatly facilitate the trade and increase the commercial interests between the United States and China.

It is stated that certain Chinese merchants coming from the Hawaiian Islands to this country with certificates issued by a United States consul there, were met with objections by the customs authorities at San Francisco on the ground that the certificates were not drawn in the proper form. To avoid such objections by the customs authorities, the Secretary of State is also respectfully requested to cause a fixed form of certificate to be drawn and issued to all the United States consular officers residing in those countries where Chinese merchants have commercial intercourse with the United States.