File No. 774/155.

Ambassador O’Brien to the Secretary of State.

No. 156.]

Sir: In acknowledging the department’s instructions Nos. 161 and 171 of October 14 and 16, 1907, respectively, on the subject of the proposal of the United States to conduct a joint opium investigation, I have the honor to report that on November 13 following I wrote to the Japanese minister for foreign affairs, expressing the gratification of my Government at the acceptance in principle by Japan of the joint commission, and their appreciation of its friendly interest in the contemplated effort to suppress the opium evil, and inquiring whether the Japanese Government found it convenient to suggest a place and time of meeting of the proposed commission.

One December 28 last I received a note from Count Hayashi informing me that my own communication was then “under consultation with the authorities concerned,” and that he would write me further on the subject. I am to-day, accordingly, in receipt of a note from him reading, in part, as follows:

In reply to your excellency’s, relative to suggesting the place and time of meeting of a joint commission for the investigation of the opium trade and habit in the Far East, I have the honor to state that the Imperial Government is desirous to leave the matter entirely to the decision of the United States Government. I therefore beg leave to request that your excellency will be so good as to take due steps in connection with the subject.

I have, etc.,

S. J. O’Brien.