File No. 15077.

The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Hicks. 1

No. 126.]

Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a note from the Chinese minister at this Capital, in which he requests, in consequence of the absence of treaty and diplomatic relations between Chile and China, that the American diplomatic and consular officers in Chile may be allowed to exercise good offices in behalf of the Chinese subjects living in that country.

You will accordingly, with the consent of the Government of Chile, take under the protection of your legation Chinese subjects and their interests in Chile. Your good offices will be confined to friendly intervention in case of need for the protection of the Chinese in their persons and property, and should be exercised by you and the consular officers without the assumption of any representation function as agents of China.

It of course follows that American officers so acting can not officially certify to the fact of Chinese citizenship, original certification of which can be made only by a responsible agent of the Chinese Government. A form of certificate to be used by you and the consular officers should, therefore, be prepared in consultation with the Chilean minister for foreign affairs, in order that it may correctly express the character of the protection afforded and the degree in which it is recognized by Chile. It is suggested that the following form, or a similar one, may perhaps be satisfactory:

I, _ _ _, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ of the United States of America, certify: That _ _ _ _ _ _ _ claims to be a subject of the Emperor of China, resident in Chile, and that upon his proving his status as a Chinese subject he will, in case of need, be entitled to the protection of the Government of the United States and to the good offices of the diplomatic and consular officers thereof, while in Chile, in pursuance of an understanding between the Governments of Chile and China to that end.

All fees collected by American diplomatic or consular officers for services rendered in the interests of China may be retained by them. No official fee stamps should be affixed to documents issued in the interest of China or its subjects. All such papers should be signed by consular officers in their official capacity, their signatures being followed by the words “In charge of the interests of China.” It is thought that the tariff of American consular fees should be followed in assessing such fees, unless you are advised otherwise by the Chinese Government.

[Page 62]

Should you require any further instructions as to when and how American diplomatic and consular officers may properly exercise their good offices in behalf of Chinese subjects residing in Chile, you may consult Foreign Relations for 1871, page 28; 1872, page 5; and 1887, page 1076. You will inform the American consuls in Chile of these facts and send a copy of this instruction to each of them. I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.
  1. Mutatis mutandis to: Ecuador No. 61.