Lord Salisbury to Mr. Choate.

Your Excellency: I have read with great interest the communication which you handed me on the 23d instant, in which you inform me of the desire of the United States Government to obtain from the various powers claiming spheres of interest in China declarations as to their intentions in regard to the treatment of foreign trade and commerce therein.

I have the honor to inform your excellency that I will lose no time in consulting my colleagues in regard to a declaration by Her Majesty’s Government and on the proposal that they should cooperate with the Government of the United States in obtaining similar declarations by the other powers concerned.

In the meantime, I may assure your excellency that the policy consistently advocated by this country is one of securing equal opportunity for the subjects and citizens of all nations in regard to commercial enterprise in China, and from this policy Her Majesty’s Government have no intention or desire to depart.

I have, etc.,