Mr. Chang Yen Hoon to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, D. C. , February 26, 1889. (Received February 27.)
Sir: I have had the honor to read, upon my return to this legation, your note of the 21st instant to Mr. Shu Cheou Pon, in relation to the transit of the Chinese subjects through the United States. I noticed with gratification the concluding part of your note. You say:
It is, however, not improper that I should say to you that neither my colleague, the Attorney-General, nor I can perceive any obstacle in the legislation of the United States which would induce a change in the practice of permitting-such transit as it was defined in the notes of my predecessor, Mr. Frelinghuysen, to the Chinese minister under date of January 6 and February 2, 1883.
I find that the present obstacle that lies now in the way of the Chinese subjects who desire to pass through the United States in transit is the unwillingness of the shipping companies to take them on board; I therefore deem it expedient to request that you will correspond with the Secretary of the Treasury to the end that instructions may be issued to the customs authorities in the ports of New York and New Orleans to notify masters of all vessels that run between Havana and those ports that [Page 130] the practice of permitting such transit will be continued as heretofore. Thus the apprehension of the masters of all vessels carrying such Chinese subjects may be allayed and the obstacle that has been in the way of the Chinese subjects who desire to pass through the United States in transit may be removed.