File No. 893.51/122.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.


By order of the Board of Finance and with the approval of the Prince Regent, the Vice President of the Board of Communications, [Page 90]Sheng, has just called upon me to ask if American bankers would be willing to undertake a loan of about fifty million taels in order to elaborate the currency reform. Such a loan would be secured on unpledged customs and likin, amounting to between five and six million taels annually. Sheng asked if our banking interests could not send some one here, as he intended to give Americans the preference. He further said that he expected to negotiate with us, at some future time, a conversion of all outstanding small loans. Sheng requests a prompt answer as to the attitude of our financiers, and due weight should be attached to his words as he has been called to Peking for the express purpose of directing the currency reform.