File No. 704.9319.

The Legation of China to the Secretary of State.


This Legation is in receipt of cabled advices to the effect that the federal Legislature of the Republic of Panama has passed on its first reading a bill, consisting of thirty-eight articles, dealing with the right of residence of Chinese citizens domiciled in that Republic. Among the most unjust features are:

Chinese residents shall be required to renew their registrations. Those who can not produce evidence of having previously registered shall be liable to a fine of two hundred and ten dollars; and those who have duly registered shall nevertheless be required to pay an additional fee of twenty-five dollars each, under penalty of deportation.
Papers of registration shall be presented every six months to local authorities for examination, each time at a fee of seventy-five cents, under penalty of a fine of ten dollars.
A monthly tax of one thousand dollars shall be levied on each of the Chinese societies or clubs, payment of which shall be for three months in advance. A monthly tax of fifty dollars shall also be levied on each of the Chinese benevolent or protective associations.

The Government of the United States has in the past, at the request of this Legation, permitted its diplomatic officers on the Isthmus to use their good offices for the protection of Chinese interests in that quarter, and this Legation has had several occasions to express to the Department of State its appreciation for these courtesies. In view of the discriminatory nature of the measure above referred to, the enforcement of which can not fail to inflict serious injury on Chinese interests and work great hardship on all classes of Chinese domiciled in that Republic, prompt and energetic action is called for. Therefore, a renewal of the Department’s instructions to those officials in this regard will be highly gratifying to the Chinese Government.