No. 47.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard .

No. 458.]

Sir: Adverting to my dispatch No. 453, of date the 15th instant, I have now the honor to inclose copy of reply which I received from the foreign office, wherein you will observe that the Chinese Government find it difficult to accept the invitation of the Government of the United States, for the reasons set forth therein, to cooperate with it in carrying out, upon a reciprocal basis, the act of Congress approved June 19, 1886, having relation to the abolition of tonnage dues and other charges on navigation.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Inclosure in No. 458.Translation.]

The Foreign Office to Mr. Denby .

No. 15, 1887.]

Your Excellency: The Prince and ministers had the honor to receive on the 15th instant a communication from your excellency, by which you informed them that, under a new act of Congress, a reduction or complete abolition by reciprocal action of tonnage and all other charges on navigation could be made between the United States and foreign countries. Your excellency transmitted a translation of four clauses of said act, and on behalf of your Government invited China’s cooperation with it in making the reductions specified by said act, etc.

It appears to the Yam6n that in western countries the carrying trade is conducted by vessels of those countries, and hence, the question of a reduction of tonnage dues, or the entire abolition of such charges on navigation, could be reciprocally discussed; but as a very few merchant vessels under the Chinese flag ever go to foreign countries the circumstances are different, and for that reason China finds it difficult to accept the invitation extended by the United States.

As in duty bound, the Prince and ministers send this communication in reply, with the request that your excellency will communicate their decision upon this question to the Government of the United States.

A necessary communication addressed to his excellency Charles Denby.