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for admission into the country were rejected by the collector of customs at San Francisco on the ground that their certificates were defective. The alleged defect was simply the omission of the particulars respecting the nature and character of their business in the English portion of the certificates, though such particulars were plainly stated in the Chinese portion. Thereupon Yee Ah Lum and the other Chinese merchants appealed to the Secretary of the Treasury, but the Secretary sustained the decision of the collector. They were accordingly deported. It was afterwards learned that they went to Europe to make their purchases.

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Tom Kem Poy and Wong Sun Chune were two Chinese merchants who had been in business a number of years at Mazatlan, Mexico, as members of the firm of Simon Ley & Co. Armed with certificates from the Mexican Government, properly viséed by the American consul at the port of departure, and also with a certificate from the registrar of commerce of Mazatlan showing that they were merchants of good standing, they came to Los Angeles, Cal., in February, 1899. On their arrival the Chinese inspector arrested them, and threw them in jail, because, as he testified at the preliminary examination of these men, he had felt their hands, and therefore knew that they were not merchants. They were in jail from February 6 to June 1, when their attorney wrote to this legation, and in all probability had to remain there to the day of their deportation, which was not ordered till August. Thus they were kept in jail for seven months for no crime or fault whatever.


Lei Yok,^ a member of the Chinese firm of Tuck Chung Yuen, of Habana, Cuba, left that port on the 11th of November, 1898, by the steamer Whitney for New Orleans with the intention of proceeding to San Francisco, where he had an interest in the firm of Tai Seng Tong, doing business at 929 Dupont street, San Francisco. Upon his arrival at New Orleans the customs authorities refused to let him continue his journey. His passport was in due form, issued by the Chinese consul-general at Habana, and viséed by the British consul acting in behalf of the United States Government as well as by the Spanish governor of the province at that time. His detention was due to a new regulation of the Treasury Department, issued in pursuance of an opinion of the Acting Attorney-General, withdrawing the official recognition up to that time accorded to Chinese consular certificates.


Ho Mun, a native of the Portuguese city of Macao, born of Chinese parentage and a merchant of good standing, arrived at San Francisco by the steamer Coptic on September 17, 1899, and applied for admission to the United States by presenting a certificate issued by the proper Portuguese authorities at Macao and viséed by the United States consul-general at Hongkong. His application was rejected on the ground that his certificate failed to state the length of time for which he was engaged as a merchant in Macao before his departure for the United States. Accordingly, he was removed to a place of detention on the steamship company's dock in the custody of the customs authorities to await orders for his deportation. Almost immediately afterwards he fell sick. Every effort was made by his friends and relatives to give him the necessary medical care and attention, but the customs authorities and particularly Inspector Dunn, who was in charge of the Chinese bureau, refused all entreaties that a regular physitian should be allowed to examine and attend the sick man. For two months Ho Mun remained in the place of detention, and his condition grew worse and worse from day to day. As a last resort, an application was made to the district court of the United States in and for the northern district of California for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted on the 16th of November, 1899, and Ho Mun was taken from the custody of the custom authorities, and removed to the county jail, where he died on the 21st of November.

The foregoing are typical cases taken from a large number. They serve to show the nature of the hardships entailed upon even the members of the exempt classes of Chinese by the harsh enforcement of the exclusion laws. These certainly do not seek the American shore for the purpose of wresting the daily bread from the mouths of American wage earners, but for the purpose of promoting a friendly understanding and improving the commercial relations between the two countries. It is true that instances of fraudulent attempts to enter the country are not wanting. But innocent Chinese who have every right to come to the United States should not be treated as suspicious characters and sent back to China as lawbreakers on the least pretext.

* See Foreign Relations, 1899, p. 200.

Mr. Hay to Mr. Wu.

No. 191.1


Washington, December 12, 1901. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 218, of the 9th instant, and to inform you in reply that I have laid before the President for his consideration and for such action as he may deem proper in the matter, a copy of the memorandum inclosed with your note, giving specific cases of alleged injustice and hardship suffered by subjects of China by reason of the rigid enforcement of the Chinese-exclusion laws. Accept, etc.,



Mr. Wu to Mr. Ilay.

No. 219.]


Washington, December 10, 1901. Sir: In view of the fact that the law of the Congress of the United States which went into force May 6, 1882, based upon the treaty of 1880 between China and the United States, regulating Chinese immigration, and which was reenacted May 5, 1892, for ten years, is about to expire by limitation, and as the treaty now in force relating to Chinese immigration will terminate in 1904, I have been instructed by the Imperial Chinese Government to bring the subject of this law and the treaties to the attention of the United States, and to urge an adjustment of the questions involved more in harmony with the friendly relations of the two Governments and with the interests of their respective peoples.

The treaty of 1880 (Article IV) provides that if the laws of the Congress of the United States to carry out the treaty “are found to work hardship upon the subjects of China, the Chinese minister at Washington may bring the matter to the notice of the Secretary of State of the United States, who will consider the subject with him

to the end that mutual and unqualified benefit may result.” The matter which now presses itself upon our consideration is whether the laws now in force' are found to work hardship upon the subjects of China,” and whether they ought to be renewed or modified by the Congress. As the subject is one of the utmost importance to my Government and my people, I must entreat your patience while I attempt to review it at some length and in detail. In doing so it will be necessary to repeat some of the facts and arguments which have already been submitted to you, in order that a full and connected pres. entation of the subject may be made for the consideration of the

legislative branch of your Government, and I respectfully request that a copy of this note be transmitted to the honorable Congress.

In seeking to discharge this duty I shall ask your attention, first, to the diplomatic history of the treaties upon which the laws of the Congress are based; second, to an inquiry somewhat in detail whether these laws have worked hardships to the subjects of China; third, whether they have proved to be for the best interests of the United States in an economic aspect and in its commercial relations with China; and, fourth, whether, in view of their early expiration, they should be reenacted; and, if so, to what extent of territory they should be applied and what modifications are called for by experience in their enforcement.


In 1868 the governments of China and the United States celebrated a treaty which guaranteed to the Chinese subjects visiting or residing in the United States the same privileges, immunities, and exemptions as were enjoyed by the citizens of the most favored nation. It was a treaty negotiated by the great American statesman, Secretary Seward. It was announced by the President of the United States to Congress to be a “liberal and auspicious treaty” (Dip. Cor. U. S., 1868, p. 16), and it was welcomed by the people of the United States as a great advance in their international relations. It also has the double significance of having been negotiated by a Chinese special embassy, of which a distinguished American diplomat, Hon. Anson Burlingame, was the head, and who was familiar with the wishes and interests of the American people.

Some delay was occasioned in its ratification by the Chinese Government, and upon the advent of a new President, General Grant, his Secretary of State, Mr. Fish, manifested a marked zeal and anxiety to secure its ratification, with a full knowledge on the part of the Government that it was to secure the free entrance of Chinese laborers into the United States, whose coming by “thousands” he welcomed. In urging the minister of the United States to hasten final and favorable action, he wrote: “Already they (the Chinese immigrants) have crossed the great mountains and are beginning to be found in the interior of the continent. By their assiduity, patience, and fidelity, and by their intelligence, they earn the good will and confidence of those that employ them. We have good reason to think that this thing will continue and increase." (Wharton's International Digest, I, p. 457.)

Under such circumstances the Imperial Chinese Government was pleased to meet the wishes of the Government of the United States, and it put the treaty into full force and operation with the expectation that it would be the means of unrestricted commercial and industrial intercourse and a bond of union and friendship between the two great peoples for many generations to come. But within a few

the sabor unions on the Pacific coast began to object to the coming oi Chinese laborers to that region to compete with them. Soon afterwards the Chinese Government was surprised to be informed that the President of the United States had delegated a commission of its citizens to go to Pekin and solicit an abrogation of the treaty clause, to which reference has been made. Although the Imperial Government was resolutely opposed to its abrogation, it received the American commission with all the respect due to their Government and to their high station, and listened patiently to their representations. The commissioners admitted that the treaty of 1868 gave the Chinese the absclute unrestricted right of immigration to the United States in any numbers, but they represented that the conditions had so changed since the treaty was negotiated, or that its operation had been so unexpected in its results, that the interests of the American people demanded that the treaty clause in question should be annulled.


The Chinese Government was still unwilling to abrogate a treaty which had been urged with so much zeal by the United States and which had so lately been entered upon on both sides with such high hopes. Thereupon the commissioners proposed that in view of the disturbances created in the United States by the operation of the treaty, permission be given the Government of the United States, in its discretion, “to limit, suspend, or prohibit” the immigration of Chinese laborers. To this proposition the Chinese Government objected as a virtual abrogation of the treaty, but it did indicate a disposition to intrust to the Government of the United States the power "to regulate, limit, or suspend” such immigration, if the power to “prohibit” was stricken out, and if assurance could be given by the commissioners that the discretion to be granted to the United States would be judiciously and reasonably exercised.

The American commissioners accepted the proposal of the Chinese Government as fair and adapted to the situation of affairs, and they proceeded to give the assurance requested by the Chinese Government in the following terms:

It would be as difficult to say what would be the special character of any act of Congress as it would be to say what would be the words of an edict of the Emperor of China to execute a treaty power. That the great nations discussing such a subject must always assume that they will both act in good faith and with due consideration for the interests and friendship of each other. That the United States Government might never deem it necessary to exercise this power. It would depend upon circumstances. If Chinese immigration concentrated in cities where it threatened public order, or if it confined itself to localities where it was an injury to the interests of the American people, the Government of the United States would undoubtedly take steps to prevent such accumulations of Chinese. If, on the contrary, there was no large immigration, or if there were sections of the country where such immigration was clearly beneficial, then the legislation of the United States under this power would be adapted to such circumstances. For example, there might be a demand for Chinese labor in the South and a surplus of such labor in California, and Congress might legislate in accordance with these facts. In general, the legislation would be in view of and depend upon the circumstances of the situation at the moment such legislation became necessary. * They further remarked that they were satisfied that if any special legislation worked unanticipated hardships the Government of the United States would listen in the most just and friendly spirit to the representations of the Chinese Government through their minister in Washington. (U. S. Foreign Relations, 1881, p. 185.)

These assurances were accepted by the Chinese Government as satisfactory and, at its request, they were reduced to writing. That Government was not, however, satisfied that the word “prohibit ” should be merely stricken out of the treaty draft prepared by the American commissioners; but to the words “regulate, limit, or suspend” it required that there should be added the words “but not absolutely prohibit it” (Chinese immigration). The further words were also added, "the limitation or suspension shall be reasonable.” By such friendly explanations and language was it sought to make clear what was the intent and scope of the new and amended treaty.


A further incident of this negotiation is proper to be noted. In the American project of the treaty it was provided that “the words 'Chinese laborers' are herein used to signify all immigrations other than that for teaching, trade, travel, study, and curiosity.” Such a clause would have excluded from the United States a large class of Chinese not enumerated, and it was wisely stricken out and not included in the treaty as accepted.

In transmitting the immigration treaty of 1880, as finally adopted, to the Secretary of State, the commissioners say:

We are satisfied that in yielding to the request of the United States they (the Chinese negotiators) have been actuated by a sincere friendship and an honorable confidence that the large powers as recognized by them as belonging to the United States, and bearing directly upon their own people, will be exercised by our Government with a wise discretion, in a spirit of reciprocal and sincere friendship, and with entire justice. (U. S. Foreign Relations, 1881, pp. 171-198.)

It would seem reasonable to expect that in yielding so fully to the wishes of the United States in this second negotiation, the Chinese Government would not again be called upon for further concessions in the interest of and at the demand of the labor unions on the Pacific coast, but such was not the case.

Within a period of less than ten years an urgent application was made by the Secretary of State for a new treaty amendment so as to enable the Congress of the United States to Still further restrict the privileges of the Chinese laborers who had come to the United States under the solemn pledge of treaty guaranties. And when the Chinese Government hesitated to consent to the withdrawal of rights granted by the United States to the subjects of all other Governments the Congress of the United States passed the Scott Act of 1888, in plain violation of the treaty. In order to save the Executive of the United States from embarrassment, the Chinese Government, contrary to its own sense of justice and of international comity, for a third time yielded to the wishes of the United States, and celebrated with it the amended treaty of 1894, which gave to Congress additional power of legislation respecting Chinese laborers.

How far Congress has complied with the letter and spirit of the treaties and of the assurances given by the American commissioners who went to Pekin, may be seen by an examination of the various laws which have been passed ostensibly to carry out the stipulations of the treaties, and the rulings of the Departments in the enforcement of these laws. They have been made the subject of many communications of this legation to you, Mr. Secretary, and the archives of your Department will show how futile have been the representations of the Chinese Government.

I beg to inclose for reference a copy of the treaty" of 1868 and also one of the treaty of 1880. (See inclosures, Nos. 1 and 2.)

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I have shown that when the Chinese plenipotentiaries were induced to agree to the exclusion of Chinese laborers from the United States the American commissioners held out the hope that possibly it might not be exercised at all, or, at most, under certain limitations and as to

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