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File No. 893.51/131a.]

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chinese Minister.

[Aide mémoire.]

The American Government is glad to learn that China has under consideration the adoption of a new currency system, uniform for the whole Empire, in fulfillment of the engagement made in Article XIII of the Commercial Treaty of 1903 between the United States and China, and that the Chinese Minister to the United States is preparing a memorial to his Government recommending the establishment of the new system upon a gold exchange basis, and is about to telegraph the Wai-wu Pu urging immediate attention to the matter as likely to pave the way for a revision of the import tariff.

Since some of the powers have manifested a disposition to make their consent to a discussion of tariff revision contingent upon the inauguration of certain reforms provided for in recent commercial treaties, it is believed that the introduction of a satisfactory currency system will place China in a very advantageous, position in respect to the proposal to increase the import duties. It is hoped, therefore, that the Minister will carry out his reported intention to send such a telegram. The telegram ought also to state clearly that such action to be effective should be taken without delay and that in order to reassure the powers interested it will be necessary to employ a foreign monetary expert and that such expert ought to be engaged before China proceeds so far with its plans as to make revision difficult in case the expert should recommend a revision of the plans.