Mr. Gresham to Mr. Young.

No. 128.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 114, of the 26th ultimo, I have to inclose a copy of a note from the Chinese minister of the 16th instant, concerning the petition addressed to him by Chinese subjects residing in Guatemala.

He asks, in consequence of the absence of any treaty relations with that Republic permitting Chinese to appoint consular representatives therein, that you may be allowed to exercise your good offices in behalf of the Chinese subjects living in Guatemala.1

This is not an unusual request, and the good offices of the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States have been employed for the protection of Chinese elsewhere, as well as other foreigners. The interests of our own people in parts of Turkey, where no United States consular officer resided, have been looked after by British consular officers.

In the present instance your efforts are to be confined to the friendly intervention in case of need for the protection of the Chinese in their person and property from unjust and harsh treatment. You are not to hold any representative character or function as respects the Chinese Government, and are to act informally. Before taking any steps in the matter, however, you should represent to the Guatemalan Government the wish of the Chinese minister, and the willingness of your Government to accede thereto, as herein indicated, provided the assent of the Guatemalan authorities is entirely favorable.

The decision of that Government upon the subject should be reported to the Department.

I have, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.
  1. A similar request was made in behalf of Chinese subjects residing in Nicaragua, Salvador, and Costa Rica. Costa Rica refused to accede, on the ground that Chinese emigration is prohibited by law.