Mr. Hay to Mr. Wu .
Washington , July 2, 1902 .
Sir: [This note is identical with instruction No. 541, July 2, 1902, Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger, printed ante, except that for the four concluding paragraphs of said instruction the following is substituted:]
It will be observed from the foregoing that a serious complaint is made of the oppressive use of consular functions for merely political purposes. By the traditional and humane policy of the United States an asylum is granted to all merely political offenders against a foreign state who have come hither from the country of their nativity. By the enlightened practice of all free states such persons, in common with nationals, are allowed to exercise freedom of speech and of the press, and to exert all proper moral influence in support of real or imaginary reforms anywhere in the world, whether in the country of their nativity or of their adoption, or elsewhere. If in the country of their nativity they have committed criminal or political offenses, they may, if there apprehended, be subjected to the penalties prescribed by the local laws. But to acquiesce in the restraint of their lawful freedom in the United States by moral torture practiced upon them through the vicarious punishment of their innocent kinsmen, or to acquiesce in their punishment through odious discriminations and oppressive exactions, is wholly inconsistent with the genius of the institutions and the policy of the Government of the United States.
Notwithstanding the strong evidence submitted in support of the complaint, the Department cherishes the hope that the discriminatory practice complained of is founded in a grave misapprehension by the Chinese consul at Honolulu of the intentions and instructions of his Government.