Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Bayard.
Seoul, March 31, 1887. (Received May 7.)
Sir: As a further reference to the question of the general foreign settlement at Chemulpo, treated of in my dispatch No. 69, of the 6th instant, I have now the honor to forward to you copy of a notice which I have issued to the Americans residing at Chemulpo concerning the rules which must be followed for procuring title deeds for the lots which they may have purchased in the settlement.
The general terms of this notice were agreed upon by the representatives of the different treaty powers, signatories of the agreement concerning the general foreign settlement at Chemulpo, and they have issued notifications to their nationals substantially the same as the inclosed.
In my dispatch No. 69 I had the honor to call your attention to the very high land rent demanded of settlers in the general foreign settlement. In view of this fact, and of the very burdensome nature of this charge on the settlers, which is admitted by all the representatives here, a clause has been inserted in the notice, stating that “as it would, however, appear that the majority of land owners considered the rent as fixed in the agreement rather onerous, and as the amount to be collected from this source is in excess of the requirements of the administration of the settlement, only half of the amount mentioned in the title deed will have to be paid at present. But it is to be clearly understood that the other half may be collected at any time hereafter, when the undersigned arid the other foreign representatives may think fit.”
It is to be hoped that the agreement of October 3, 1884, may be revised in a way which will make settling in the foreign settlement of Chemulpo less expensive, and the charges on residents less onerous, by which means it can not be doubted the prosperity of the place would greatly increase.
I have, etc.,