Mr. Hay to Mr. Wu.

No. 93.]

Sir: Referring to your note of the 18th ultimo, and to previous correspondence, on the subject of the extension to the Hawaiian Islands of the Chinese exclusion laws of the United States, I have the honor to inform you that in a letter to this Department dated the 2d instant, inclosing a copy of a recent opinion on the subject given by the Attorney-General, the Secretary of the Treasury adopts the views held by that official that the provisions of the joint resolution providing for the annexation of the islands, to the effect that “there shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the United States,” should be construed so as to apply only to actual additional immigration, namely, the coming of Chinese into the islands for the first time after annexation, and not to the return thither of Chinese who have lawful residence there and are simply exercising the recognized right of returning to their business and their homes after a temporary absence.

Under the opinion, it is also held that Chinese women and children presenting permits issued under the laws of Hawaii prior to the receipt by the Hawaiian Government of the Treasury regulations transmitted to it through the special agent of the United States on November 12 last may be admitted to those islands by virtue of such permits, and that other Chinese permits of the Hawaiian Government, issued in the same manner prior to the receipt by that Government of the regulation just mentioned, entitling them to sojourn for a temporary period in the islands, should also be admitted thereto.

Instructions in harmony with these views were sent on the 27th ultimo by the Treasury Department to Chinese Inspector Brown at Honolulu, and the special agent of the United States at that place was instructed, on the 9th instant, to send to the Government of Hawaii a copy of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, together with a copy of the opinion of the Attorney-General, for the information and guidance of the customs officers of the islands, with the information that the Treasury regulations sent through him on November 12 last are modified in accordance with the opinion of the Attorney-General and the instructions of the 27th ultimo to Chinese Inspector Brown.

Accept, etc.,

John Hay.