File No. 803.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 366.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for the information of the department, a copy of a note which I have received from the Prince of Ch’ing regarding the entry into the United States from other countries of Chinese of the exempt classes.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

The Prince of Ch’ing to Minister Rockhill.

No. 176.]

Your Excellency: I have the honor to inform your excellency that on the 17th of this month my board received a dispatch from H. E. Liang, Chinese minister to the United States, as follows:

“Chinese of the exempt classes going to the United States from ports in China are required by Article VI of the exclusion act to secure certificates from certain customs taot’ais and other officials. They can then enter the country within the law. The records show numerous cases that have been dealt with in this way. But up to this time no provision has been made with regard to Chinese of the exempt classes entering the United States from ports in other countries, and it has not been pointed out what officials are authorized to issue the required certificates. Traveling Chinese are therefore foot bound, and there are innumerable inconveniences. I recently received a communication from the Department of State asking me to state what officials could be authorized to issue these certificates to Chinese of the exempt classes entering the United States from countries other than China, that notice could be circulated regarding the matter and the powers of these officials recognized. I therefore took the matter up with the Department of State and arranged that Chinese of the exempt classes entering the United States from countries other than China should secure these certificates from the Chinese minister residing in that country, or from the chargé d’affaires, or from a consul-general or consul, said certificates to be filled out according to the regular form required by law and sent to the American minister in that country, or to an American consul, for his signature and seal. Such certificate is to be considered as complying with the law, and will be sufficient to allow of entry into the United States. In places where there are no Chinese diplomatic or consular officials the same American officials shall be empowered to issue the certificates.

“Information of the matter of the authorization given to the above-mentioned officials is to be given to the American minister in Peking by the Wai Wu Pu, and he will report it to his Government. The Wai Wu Pu will also instruct its minister at Washington to communicate with the Department of Commerce and Labor through the Department of State, that the matter may be put on record.”

Having received the above, my board has communicated with Minister Liang as suggested, and in addition it becomes my duty to transmit to your excellency [Page 272] the information above conveyed, trusting that you will forward it to the Department of State for their information and action.

A necessary despatch.