Mr. Wu to Mr. Hay.

No. 243.]

Sir: I am informed that there has been passed a bill by the Congress of the United States prohibiting and regulating the coming of Chinese persons into the territory of the United States, and that the same only requires the signature of the President to become a law. [Page 214] In view of this I desire to lay before you some considerations why the said bill should not become a law, and to ask you to submit them to His Excellency the President before he shall act upon the same.

I have heretofore in various notes brought to your attention the hardships which are inflicted by existing laws on the Chinese in the United States under the guarantees of the treaty, and I will not repeat them at this time. I desire now to confine my representations to one point only, to wit, the extension to the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands of the Chinese-exclusion laws in force in the mainland territory of the United States.

When the treaty of 1894 was negotiated the islands named did not belong to the United States, and it was not then expected that they would be annexed. Hence the subject of the exclusion of Chinese laborers from these islands was not considered. For many years Chinese subjects of all classes were admitted to the Hawaiian Islands, and for centuries they had been permitted to go to the Philippines. In the long course of generations there had been built up a large commerce between the neighboring cities of China and those islands. Social and domestic relations of the most intimate character had been established; there were intermarriages with the natives, and many thousands of Chinese had been born there. To cut them off suddenly from all intercourse with China would be a great wrong and hardship.

It is very certain that my Government would never have consented to the inclusion of the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands in any treaty which provided for the exclusion of Chinese. I respectfully submit that it is not in conformity with international law and the comity of nations to include in the operations of a treaty large numbers of people and a great extent of territory which were in no respect the subject of the treaty without first entering into new negotiations with the nation concerned and obtaining its consent therefor. In view of these considerations, I trust that His Excellency the President of the United States, who is distinguished for his high sense of justice, will not allow the bill under consideration to become a law until the objectionable features to which I have called attention shall be eliminated.

Accept, etc.,

Wu Ting-fang.