Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 84.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of a note which I received yesterday from Prince Ch’ing in reply to mine of the 27th of August, copy of which I transmitted to you in my dispatch No. 77 of August 29.

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The statement made by the prince “that hereafter all classes of Chinese will certainly be able to go to America without receiving any illtreatment” might be thought to show a complete misunderstanding of the formal and often-repeated declarations we have made him that the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States is absolutely prohibited. Read, however, in conjunction with the clear terms of my note of August 27 and his own statement in the first lines of this note, there is no doubt that he perfectly understands the position of our government.

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I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
[Page 226]

Prince Ch’ing to Minister Rockhill.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s dispatch of August 27, in which you said that the Government of the United States was most desirous to meet, so far as the general interests of your country permitted, the wishes of the Imperial Government concerning the coming of Chinese subjects to the United States, other than those of the laboring classes. Your excellency then quoted from the President’s order of June 24 last (a copy of which order you had previously sent to my board), making it clear that “the purpose of the Government of the United States is to show the widest and heartiest courtesy toward all merchants, teachers, students, and travelers who may come to the United States,” and you assured me that the President could not take any step beyond the issuance of these orders until further action of Congress on the matter, as his action is limited by the laws and statutes of the United States. Your excellency then further stated that notwithstanding all this my government has allowed the agitation to continue, to the great pecuniary loss of our people, as well as yours, and you asked why the Chinese Government had not taken such action as would have shown the people the real friendship which we have for the United States.

I have the honor to state that upon the receipt of this dispatch from your excellency I made inquiry into the boycott matter and found that an imperial edict had recently been issued, and a copy of it had been sent to you by my board. From this it is evident that the Chinese Government has taken thorough action in the matter, to the end that neither Chinese nor American citizens may suffer pecuniary losses.

Your excellency has said that the President can not take any further step in the matter until Congress has taken some action, and I may say that the Chinese Government has great confidence that the President will certainly take some such further action later on. Word has already been sent to the various viceroys and governors directing them to inform their people that both the President of the United States and your excellency have a deep feeling of friendship for China in your hearts, and that hereafter all classes of Chinese will certainly be able to go to America without receiving any ill treatment.

But now that the date of the next opening of Congress is not far distant we ought to take up again the discussion of the coolie immigration treaty, in order to have it all ready for their consideration and approval.

It becomes my duty to send this dispatch to your excellency, that you may inform the Department of State of the matter, and I desire to state that a reply hereto would be appreciated.

A necessary dispateh.