File No. 803/3–4.

Chargé Coolidge to the Secretary of State.

No. 439.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 190 of September 22, with regard to the issuing of certificates to Chinese of the exempt classes when such Chinese may wish to enter the United States from some country other than China.

On the 3d instant I addressed a note to His Imperial Highness Prince Ch’ing, a copy of which I have the honor to inclose herewith, stating that my Government did not concur in the arrangement as proposed by the Chinese minister at Washington, and reiterating the desire of the United States that the authority to grant the certificates in question should be further limited.

I have, etc.,

John Gardner Coolidge.
[Page 276]

Chargé Coolidge to the Prince of Ch’ing.

No. 179.]

Your Imperial Highness: On July 30, 1906, your imperial highness addressed a note to Mr. Rockhill stating that your board had received a dispatch from H. E. Liang Cheng, Chinese minister to the United States, as follows.a

Your imperial highness desired that the information thus conveyed should be transmitted to the Department of State for its action. In compliance with this request the note was forwarded to my Government, and I am now in receipt of instructions to reply to your imperial highness that the Department of State did not concur in the arrangement reported by the Chinese minister in Washington that Chinese of the exempt classes entering the United States from countries other than China should secure their certificates from ministers, chargés d’affaires, consuls-general, or consuls in the country of their departure. In the opinion of my Government, it is not at all advisable that the authority to grant such certificates should be delegated to so many officials. It would only lead to confusion and embarrassment, owing to the difficulty of verifying certificates from so many sources. In the case of Chinese who are subjects of foreign governments, it devolves upon such foreign governments and not upon China to issue these certificates. As for Chinese subjects traveling abroad who wish to go to the United States, it would be an easy matter to present themselves en route to the official designated by the Chinese Government to issue certificates. It is neither necessary nor advisable that an official be appointed at every port from which a Chinese might possibly embark for America. Consequently in respect to each country a specific officer or class of officers should alone be designated.

Secondly, my Government has not consented and is not willing that “in places where there are no Chinese diplomatic or consular officials the same American officials shall be empowered to issue the certificate,” as proposed by the Chinese minister. American diplomatic and consular officers are charged by the law with the duty of viséing these certificates, and it would be extremely inadvisable to make them issue a certificate to be viséed by themselves.

I have the honor to request that your imperial highness will make a proper designation of officials in accordance with the foregoing representations, at such places as the Chinese Government may find proper, and to reiterate the expressed desire” of my Government that the above authority be not widely given in order that unnecessary complications may be avoided.

I avail, etc.,

John Gardner Coolidge.
  1. Supra.