Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay .
Pekin, China , March 24, 1899 .
Sir: On the overleaf, herewith, I have the honor to confirm my telegram of the 23d instant.
This information was given me by the tsungli yamen during a visit there on the 22d instant, and I was asked if it was true.
I replied that I had not yet received instructions, but as soon as I did I would inform them. They said that the negotiations with Japan for a settlement at Amoy was begun some two years ago, and at most was to be a very small one.
The Japanese minister has also called upon me, and informed me that he has just received from the Japanese consul a telegram substantially as follows:
United States consul told me that he, in accordance with the instructions received from the Department of State, wrote to the local authorities inquiring if the Chinese Government will concede the same privilege in securing American settlement at Amoy. He further told me that the intention of the United States Government is only to remonstrate against discrimination and interference with American interests, and that he will do his best for us.
The Japanese minister also says that the settlement area which they ask for covers only about 40 acres; and that, if there is any conflict of American and Japanese interests in the matter, he is certain his Government will be glad to confer in a friendly spirit and adjust it amicably.
Unless the area asked for by the Japanese comprises all the available or desirable tracts for such purpose, leaving no place for us, in case we ever should wish a settlement, does the Department wish opposition made?
I have, etc.,