Mr. Dun to Mr. Olney.

No. 433.]

Sir: Since my dispatch No. 429, of date November 23 last, in regard to bringing into immediate force Article XVI of our new treaty with [Page 435] Japan was written I have had repeated interviews with Count Okuma, His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s minister for foreign affairs, upon the same subject.

On the 23d instant I was informed by him that Great Britain having expressed an unwillingness to surrender jurisdisction over British subjects in matters pertaining to the enforcement of Japan’s laws for the protection of industrial property, he had that day concluded an arrangement with the British minister here securing to Japanese and British subjects reciprocal national treatment and reserving for future discussion the question of jurisdiction. In this arrangement nothing is said in regard to the enforcement of Japan’s industrial laws. It seems that Count Okuma has now decided, for political reasons, to leave that question for the powers that have concluded new treaties with Japan to determine. The arrangement entered into will be brought into effect in the near future, probably within ten days, by an order in council in London and a ministerial notification here, both to be issued on the same day. Count Okuma has delayed the time on which this arrangement is to take effect in order that, if possible, some arrangement may be made under which equal privileges and protection will be secured to American citizens at the same time that they are secured to British subjects.

Count Okuma expressed his willingness, on the 3d instant, to at once make a similar arrangement with my Government to that just concluded with Great Britain through her representative here. I replied that it was quite impossible to do so; that any arrangement of the kind with my Government must be approved by the President and Senate of the United States before it could take effect. I took occasion to remind the minister that my Government had promptly accepted the proposal he had made in his note to me of November 12, and that it was in consequence of a subsequent request made by him that the arrangement proposed had not yet been concluded and sent on to Washington for the action of the President and Senate, and that in view of the readiness manifested by my Government to extend to the Japanese reciprocal protection in the United States, I had hoped and expected that Americans would not be placed at a disadvantage in Japan in this respect with the citizens or subjects of any other country. In consequence of this interview I sent you my telegram, of date the 4th instant, reading of which is inclosed with my No. 431 of this date, and on the next day, the 5th instant, received your reply to the effect that the action of the President and Senate was required.

Since my interview of the 3d instant I have seen Count Okuma several times in regard to this matter, and on the 10th instant, in order to save the time that would be required for transmission to Washington of any convention or arrangement concluded here for ratification, I suggested to him that such arrangement be negotiated and concluded in Washington, if agreeable to you. Count Okuma approved of my suggestion, and on the 11th instant sent a long telegraphic instruction to Minister Hoshi, the substance of which that gentleman has doubtless communicated to you.

The draft of the convention or arrangement which Count Okuma proposes was embodied in his telegram to Mr. Hoshi. As it is not required by the laws of Japan that an arrangement of the kind proposed by Count Okuma should be ratified here before going into effect, he prefers to call it a “declaration “rather than a “convention,” as the latter term might imply the necessity of its submission to the privy council here before going into effect and, in consequence, cause much unnecessary [Page 436] delay. The form of Count Okuma’s proposal is based upon the arrangement entitled a “declaration” agreed to by the United States and Italy June 1, 1882, and proclaimed March 19, 1884. In consequence of this understanding with Count Okuma, I sent you my telegram of the 11th instant, reading inclosed, with my No. 431 of this date.

Americans here are extremely desirous that they may have protection for their patents, trade-marks, and designs at the earliest time possible, and I am in frequent receipt of urgent appeals to that effect. It seems to me that it is very desirable that they should have such protection at practically the same time that it is granted to citizens of other countries. I was greatly influenced by their wishes in making the suggestion to Count Okuma that the necessary agreement between the two Governments be concluded at Washington, believing that much valuable time might in that way be saved. I have no doubt whatever that Count Okuma is most anxious that Americans should not be placed at a disadvantage in this matter. It is to be regretted that his purpose was not more definitely fixed when his note of November 12 last was written. His subsequent request in regard to the surrender of jurisdiction does not seem to be well advised. It has resulted in nothing but loss of time.

I trust that my action in this matter will meet with your approval.

I have, etc.,

Edwin Dun.