The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 161.]

Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from the Hon. John T. Morgan, inclosing a copy of one to him from the Rev. Hampden C. Du Bose, of Soochow, China, in which the latter expresses his desire to be introduced to the Chinese foreign office, in the interest of the movement for the suppression of the opium traffic in China.

The policy and sentiments of the Government of the United States in regard to the deleterious traffic in opium in China have been long and emphatically declared, and took express shape in the treaty of November 17, 1880, and in the act of Congress approved February 23, 1887. Under these circumstances, unless you are aware of some good reason to the contrary, not known to the department, it may be desirable for you to testify the continuing interest of this Government in the matter by affording Mr. Du Bose the desired opportunity to confer personally with the Chinese foreign office.

The department would welcome a report from you on the present aspects of the opium trade in China, with such suggestions as you may be in a position to make touching the attitude to be maintained by the United States in regard thereto.

I am, etc.,

Robert Bacon.