Mr. Buck to Mr. Hay.
Tokyo, February 5, 1900.
Sir: For the information of the Department, and as a matter of some importance, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of resolutions adopted at a meeting of foreign residents in Yokohama concerning the registration of titles of perpetual leases in the former foreign settlements there, together with a copy of a communication from Mr. John Lindsley, an American resident, transmitting the resolutions to Consul-General John F. Gowey; also the dispatch (copy) of the consul-general in forwarding them, and also a copy of my instruction to the consul-general in respect to the resolutions and the request made by Mr. Lindsley.[Page 321]
Considering the information I had received as to the attitude of our people in Yokohama concerning the registration of titles of perpetual leases, upon the promulgation of the imperial ordinance No. 458 of the 27th of December last, which, at the time, was published and discussed in the newspapers, and the fact that no complaint had reached me, and no inquiry had been made in respect to the effect of the ordinance, I had assumed that the ordinance was regarded by them as measurably satisfactory, and was surprised that the American residents there should join with foreigners of other nationalities in passing the resolutions and that my efforts with the Imperial Government should be solicited in their behalf, without first hearing what, if anything, had already been done by me in the direction of their suggestions.
While the imperial ordinance No. 458 of December 27 last (copy inclosed with my despatch of the 29th of December, No. 392), in providing for the registration of titles of perpetual leases as “superficies” (perpetual leases), was not entirely satisfactory, yet, as stated in my dispatch No. 392, I regarded it as indirectly in accord with treaty provision.
I understand that the resolutions do not express the views of all American residents holding titles of perpetual leases in Yokohama, though they probably do of a majority of them, as the meeting passing the resolutions, I am informed, was fairly representative.
I have, etc.,