to Mr. Bayard.
Peking, December 1, 1886. (Received January 15, 1887.)
Sir: I beg leave to renew the recommendation made by me in my dispatch No. 13, of date October 14, 1885, that the appellation and rank of Chinese secretary be conferred on the interpreter of this legation. I am aware that little importance is attached in the United States to titles or matters of rank. But I must take things as I find them at my post of duty. Here all ceremonial, social as well as official, is regulated by rank. A man without diplomatic rank goes to the lowest place on all occasions. A line in the statutes providing that the interpreter shall be designated as Chinese secretary and shall be treated as and held to be one of the secretaries of the legation, would be all that is necessary.
I think that the Tsung-li yamên and other boards and officials would accord more respect to an official designated as a Chinese secretary than to an interpreter. Interpreters have no rank whatever and are treated altogether as subordinates. The duties to be performed by them are delicate and important. The Chinese secretaries of the other legations often visit the Tsung-li yamên in place of the ministers and present diplomatic questions. Such an officer should have a distinctive diplomatic rank, so as to secure for him all possible consideration. I desire simply to place the interpreter of this legation on a par with those of the other great treaty powers.
I have, etc.,