Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.
Tokyo , February 1, 1906.
Sir: Referring to the legation’s dispatch No. 372, of the 18th ultimo, I have the honor to forward herewith a copy of the minister for foreign affairs’ note of the 23d, informing me of an ordinance issued the 21st by the governor-general of the Kwantung, under the terms of which foreigners may proceed to Port Arthur and Dalny to examine their properties temporarily abandoned there. A translation of the regulations as they appeared in full in the Official Gazette of January 23 is likewise inclosed. Besides prescribing the obligations of foreigners after their arrival within the jurisdiction of the Kwantung government office, the regulations provide that each application on the part of a foreigner for a permit to visit Port Arthur or Dalny shall be made through the diplomatic representative of his Government at Tokyo, and shall be accompanied by a detailed list of the properties he wishes to investigate.
I have the honor to inclose also a copy of my note of January 24, renewing the request for permits for Messrs. Friede, Nielsen, and Toritch to visit the Kwantung, and adding the name of Mr. Dunn, of the American Trading Company. The required data in regard to the properties to be investigated by these gentlemen had long since been furnished by the legation, with the exception of a list of the property of Mr. Friede, a proportion of whose interest consisted in important business papers, and in whose case a list was not available.
On the 25th ultimo the legation made further inquiries at the foreign office; and on the following day the minister for foreign affairs wrote to state that, in order to save time, the War Department would issue telegraphic instructions to the Kwantung authorities simultaneously with the issuance of the permits, whereby the applicants would be admitted pending their receipt of the permits by mail. A copy of Mr. Kato’s communication is inclosed. On the same day informal inquiries as to when the permits might be expected were made at the war office.
Major Yoshida telephoned to me on the 29th to say that the permits had been issued and would reach the legation through the foreign office that day. I thereupon telegraphically informed the applicants, through our consul-general at Shanghai, that they might [Page 1080] proceed at once to Port Arthur and Dalny. Late in the afternoon I received from the minister for foreign affairs three permits, with a letter, as inclosed, to the effect that Mr. Friede’s could not be issued because no itemized statement of property had been submitted with his application. It was then evident that there had been a mistake in the above-mentioned message telephoned to the legation, and the matter was thus left in a very awkward position, since Mr. Friede had already been notified that he might set out for Port Arthur.
It was extremely disappointing that an imperfection in his application to the legation should render fruitless in the case of Mr. Friede, the efforts of many months; so that evening at a dinner at the Chinese legation I took the opportunity to speak to his excellency, Mr. Kato, on the subject, and also to the chief of the political bureau, under whose charge these vexed matters have been. I was sorry to find discouragement in that quarter. The minister for war being present, I then stated Mr. Friede’s case fully to his excellency, and General Terauchi was kind enough to interest himself and to promise to see what could be done.
On the 31st of January I visited the war office, and was later informed by telephone that the military authorities had overcome the technical difficulty and had issued Mr. Friede’s permit, which reached this legation to-day, with a note from Mr. Kato, as inclosed. The notification given Mr. Friede on the 29th thus becomes effective, and since that date all the Americans now desiring to visit the Kwantung are at liberty to go there.
Telegrams from the American merchants concerned have continued to show anxiety in regard to their interests, and I have had the honor to report this matter very exhaustively, as it may interest you to know what efforts have been required to obtain permission for them to revisit the ports of the Liaotung Peninsula even at the present very late date, in view of the bearing of the subject upon foreign commercial interests in Manchuria and upon the attitude which the Japanese are disposed to assume toward them.
I have, etc.,