The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 8.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Coolidge’s telegram of the 22d of April last.

In reply I inclose herewith for your information a copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury expressing his views in the matter.

I am, etc.,

Francis B. Loomis.
[Inclosure.]

The Secretary of the Treasury to the Acting Secretary of State.

Sir: In reply to your letter of the 24th ultimo, embodying a telegram dated the 22d ultimo from the charge d’affaires ad interim at Peking, China, and requesting to be advised by this Department as to what answer should be telegraphed to the chargé d’affaires in reply to his recommendation that the payments of the Chinese indemnity should be by “telegraphic transfers” on New York, I have to state that the agreement of this government with the international banking corporation provides for the receipt by the bank of all payments due to the United States arising under the protocol fixing the amounts to be paid by the Chinese Government. The bank is to account to the United States Government for the amount of taels received from the Chinese Government at the value of the tael in Shanghai at the time of payment, expressed in United States cents, and to deposit this amount to the credit of the United States Government in the United States without any charge for loss by exchange. It would therefore appear that it would not concern the United States Government in what way the bank might place their money in New York for the payments due the United States. In fact, it would appear that the bank is not obliged to make any actual transfer. The only obligation resting on the bank would be to deposit with the United States Treasurer the value of the taels received in accordance with the terms of their bond. If, however, there is a new arrangement between the Department of State and the Chinese Government, doing away with the provisions of the existing protocol relative to the method of payments and providing [Page 154]for the payment of the amounts due and coming due to the United States in American dollars and making the payments direct to this government, as the telegram embodied in your letter would indicate, I can see no objection to the payments being made by “telegraphic transfers.”

Respectfully,

L. M. Shaw.