Mr. Uhl to Mr. Denby.
Washington, December 27, 1893.
Sir: I have received your dispatch No. 1758, of the 15th ultimo, communicating, with comments, the request of the Yamên, that the foreign representatives devise a plan by which travelers in the interior shall be required to report their movements to the local officials in the course of their journey.
Your views on the subject appear to be judicious. Travelers under duly issued permits may not unreasonably be expected to make their whereabouts known to the local officers charged with their effective protection, and this, not by way of surveillance but to facilitate the performance of their duty to give needful protection. Beyond this nothing should be exacted in the way of prior notification of the exact route to be followed or confinement to designated roads, or any other restriction on the liberty of the traveler to shape his movements according to the needs of his journey.
It is sufficient that the general scope of his journey appear in his permit, leaving him free to take such roads and effect his journey in such manner as best suits him within the assigned territory.
You will of course withhold assent to any requirements in this regard which shall not, by common assent, equally apply to all foreign travelers in China.
I am, etc.,