File No. 819.55/17.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister to China.


Your August 191 was promptly repeated to the American Legation at Panama, which replies as follows:

August 20. Period for registration of Chinese under Law 50 extended until September 1, after which they may be liable to imprisonment or expulsion. So far no Chinese have registered. Panaman Government threatens severe measures, regarding Chinese as wilfully obstinate in this matter.

At an interview this morning the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in reply to my representations, requests me to inform you that the charge for registration is only $3 U. S. gold, barely covering the expenses of preparing the registration papers in triplicate; also that the tax on societies is in purpose a prohibitive tax on gambling institutions. He also assured me, for transmission to the Department and to the Legation at Peking, that when the registration of Chinese is completed the law will be modified so that reporting every six months thereafter will not be compulsory. The special session of the Assembly will be held only after the registration is completed, to take up then the reduction of the tax and the necessary modifications of the law.

  1. Quoted in the next above.