No. 398.

Mr. Bingham to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 1978.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 1975, dated the 22d ultimo, in relation to the gift of land for legation purposes in this city, which this Government desires to make in perpetuity to our Government, if the same will be accepted, I beg leave to say that the reason of the request of his excellency, Count Inouye, that I should acquaint you of this offer by telegraph [Page 555] and obtain a reply by telegraph of its acceptance, was that this Government will have to buy the property rights of the owner in the land proposed to be given, and therefore wishes to be assured that the gift will be accepted before his Imperial Majesty’s Government shall be at the expense of purchasing the present titles of the owners.

This Government wishes to signify the high appreciation of his Imperial Japanese Majesty of the declaration made by President Arthur in his recent message to Congress that the Government of the United States “recognizes the equal and independent station of Japan in the community of nations.” It is not surprising that this just declaration of President Arthur should have greatly impressed this Government when it is considered that no other foreign state has by official word or act recognized “the equal and independent station of Japan in the community of nations.”

Having received by mail the President’s message of the 1st ultimo, as printed in the San Francisco papers, I observe therein the statement that “the Siamese Government has presented to the United States a commodious mansion and grounds for the occupancy of the legation,” from which words I infer that the gift was accepted by our Government for the United States without awaiting action by Congress.

I see no reason to question the propriety of such action, nor do I suppose that Congress would refuse as the President suggests in the case of the gift by Siam, “by joint resolution to attest its appreciation of the generous gift.”

I await with much interest your telegraphic reply to my telegram of the 22d ultimo, trusting that your reply will be that I may accept the proposed gift for and in behalf of the Government of the United States. Our people have a great commercial future in Japan, and through this commercial gateway, in China and the Eastern countries beyond, if our Government continues as it has begun, which I cannot allow myself to doubt it will do, to deal justly with Japan and with the other Eastern nations.

I have, &c.,