Mr. Bayard to Mr. Denby.
Washington, December 10, 1888.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Nos. 713 and 723, of the 1st and 6th of October last, respectively, relative to claims of citizens of the United States against China.
The Department regards with favor your suggestion that it would be advisable to obtain from the Chinese Government a comprehensive adjustment of the claims against it, and you are instructed to endeavor to secure such a settlement.
It is thought that the Chinese Government should be disposed to act in a spirit of comity and liberality on the subject, not only because it is desirable that the complaints now pending should be satisfied but also because of the attention paid by this Government to the claims of Chinese subjects in the United States.
Under the act of Congress of the 24th of February, 1887, this Government has paid to the Chinese minister at this capital the sum of $147,748.74 in settlement of losses sustained by Chinese subjects at Bock Springs, in the Territory of Wyoming. In addition to this there was appropriated at the last session of Congress the sum of $276,619.75 as lull indemnity for all other losses and injuries sustained by Chinese subjects within the United States at the hands of residents thereof. The latter sum was the amount agreed upon for that purpose by the Chinese minister and myself and inserted in the recent treaty which the Chinese Government for certain causes wholly foreign to the question of indemnity failed to ratify. This money has not yet been paid, but the Chinese minister is expecting authority from his government to receive it.
In view of these facts it is hoped that the Chinese Government will now be ready to settle American claims.
I am, etc.,