Mr. Hay to Mr. Thiébaut.

Sir: I have received your note of the 26th of October, and it gives me great pleasure to be once more assured that the Government of the French Republic entertains the same opinion held by that of the United States as to keeping in view the first arrangements to be made in China for securing of guaranties of impartial trade and preserving the integrity of the Chinese Empire.

After a careful consideration of your note, this Government finds itself unable to add anything to what is contained in my notes of [Page 326] October 10 and October 19. We consider the French propositions, subject, so far as we are concerned, to trie reserves imposed upon us by our own circumstances, to be an adequate basis for a beginning of negotiations; and we perceive in those reserves, at this time precisely as at the time when they were formulated, no obstacle to a prompt initiation of negotiations. Our minister in Pekin has been so informed, and a proof that no obstacle to the desired procedure exists is found in the fact that this Government is in receipt of dispatches from Pekin indicating that the ministers of the powers have already begun the task of formulating their demands to be presented to the Chinese plenipotentiaries.

I avail myself of the opportunity to offer to you the renewed assurance of my high consideration.

John Hay.