Mr. Yang Yü to Mr. Gresham.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 23d instant and a copy of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, which was inclosed, in regard to the action of the U. S. Government concerning the recognition of certificates of identity issued to the exempt class of Chinese persons entering the United States, and I thank you for the information conveyed in these communications.

I am also desirous of avoiding any wrong or imposition in the issuance of such certificates, and to this end I have instructed the Chinese consular officers at Havana, San Francisco, and New York who have charge of these matters to carefully examine all applicants for such certificates and to scrutinize with great care all testimony adduced in support of such applications.

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I trust, however, that the applications of actual merchants, whose certificates are required to be viséed by the collector of the port from which they depart may be distinguished from the applications of those who assume to be such merchants, so that the former may not be unnecessarily interfered with or delayed in their right to carry on their mercantile business, and I respectfully request that the collectors may be instructed to visé and recognize the certificates of such bona fide merchants in accordance with the practice and regulations heretofore and now existing, and that they may receive justice at the hands of the U. S. Government.

In regard to the petition of the Chinese consul at New York and the joint petition of the Chinese merchants at that city, to the effect that the collector at that port refuses to visé such certificates, and that Inspector Seharf abuses his authority, I feel assured that Mr. Secretary Carlisle does not sanction any such irregularities as are reported to have been done pursuant to his orders.

Please extend to Mr. Secretary Carlisle my thanks for his valuable letter, and

Accept, etc.,

Yang Yü.