Chargé Coolidge to the Secretary of State.

No. 1901.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that in obedience to an imperial edict referring to the board of foreign affairs and the board of commerce the question of the advisability of opening Yunnanfu, the capital of Yunnan, to foreign trade a memorial has been presented to the Throne recommending that this be done.

In this memorial it is set forth that the railway from Tongking will soon be constructed and will reach the provincial capital, which will become an important center of distribution. This will necessitate the opening of the port, and it is advisable that this should be done by China herself and not by treaty. The circumstances are similar to those at Chinan, and as the railway is approaching completion it is very desirable for China to take measures to promote trade and to protect her sovereignty. It is therefore recommended that, as in the case of Chinan, a port for international trade be opened outside the walls of Yunnanfu, and that in case this petition be approved the viceroy should draw up suitable regulations, based on previous instances of the same kind, and submit them in a memorial fixing the date of the opening of the port, so that notifications may be sent to the representatives of foreign governments in Peking through the foreign office and to the inspector-general of customs.

This memorial received imperial sanction on May 14.

I have, etc.,

John Gardner Coolidge.