File No. 4516/2–3.
The Secretary of State to Minister Squiers.
Washington , December 4, 1907 .
Sir: The Chinese chargé d’affaires ad interim has informally left at the department a copy of a decree of the Panaman Government, No. 14, of September 21, 1907, which establishes rules regarding Chinese, Syrians, and Turks residing in the Republic of Panama. At the same time he expressed the desire that the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States on the Isthmus might exercise their good offices in behalf of Chinese subjects affected thereby.
Under the arrangement by which you are permitted to lend your good offices, when they are required, in favor of Chinese subjects resident in Panama you may do so when called upon with reference to matters arising under the decree in question. In a concrete case, for example, you might informally suggest a favorable exercise of such administrative discretion as might be applicable.
It is understood that the Chinese legation regards the provisions of the decree as harsh. Under these circumstances you should bear in mind that, if you are asked to communicate remonstrances against provisions of the decree, your good offices should be confined to a transmission of such representations and should not place you in a position of taking exception to such provisions in your capacity of an official of this Government.
A similar instruction has been sent to the consul-general at Panama and the consul at Colon, who are directed in a specific case to report the circumstances to the legation for its action or instructions.
A translation of the decree is inclosed herewith.
I am, etc.,
- This reads “article 5” in the original, but it must be a mistake. Transl.↩