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It will thus be seen that your Congress, which I fear bas not always shown a great regard for treaty stipulations, has passed no laws which in any degree restrict the treaty privilege of transit. How then can the Secretary of the Treasury legally do such a thing I By Article VI of the treaty 1868 it is stipulated that

Chinese subjects visiting or residing in the United States shall enjoy the same privileges, immunities, and exemptions in respect to travel or residence as may there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation.

As shown above, the treaty of 1880 does not in any way modify this guaranty as to Chinese laborers in transit. Hence the Secretary of the Treasury does not seem to have any power to exact requirements of Chinese subjects in trausit which are not as uniformly applied to British, French, German, or other subjects of friendly powers.

My Government has not protested against the regulations of the Treasury Department heretofore issued on the subject of transit, although contrary to the letter and spirit of the treaties, because they have been of such a character that the Chinese subjects could without great in. convenience comply with them, and because my Government was desirous of avoiding any possible occasion of controversy. But when a regulation, without the warrant of law or treaty, is sought to be enforced which deprives a large body of my countrymen of their treaty privileges, it is my solemn duty to bring the matter to your attention a:d to ask that the subject be investigated with a view to a revocation of the objectionable requirement.

My predecessor has had occasion to present to your Department the views of my Government respecting recent legislation of Congress, and it bas awaited with anxiety the answer which you may be able to give. There will be occasion for increased anxiety and regret if a favorable reply may not be given to this new cause of complaint. I therefore bope, from the well-known spirit of justice and benevolence which distinguishes your excellency, that you will enable me to communicate to my Government a satisfactory answer at your early convenience. I improve, etc.,

Tsui Kwo YIN.

(Inclosure. Circular.)

IRANSIT OF CHINESE LABORERS THROUGH THE UNITED STATES.

(1889. Department No. 100, Division of Customs.)

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, D. C., September 28, 1889. To collectors and other officers of the customs :

In view of the opinion of the Attorney-General promulgated in S. 9519, of July 25, 1889, the following regulations for the transit of Chinese laborers throughont the United States are hereby prescribed :

1. Any Chinese laborer claiming to be in transit through the territory of the United States in the course of a journey to and from other countries, shall be required to produce to the collector of customs at the first port of arrival it through ticket across the whole territory of the United States intended to be traversed, and such other proof as he may be able to adduce, to satisfy the collector of the fact that a bona fide transit only is intended ; and such ticket and other evidence presented must be so stamped, or marked, and dated by the customs officer as to prevent their use the second time,

2. Descriptive lists of all such Chinese laborers will be prepared in duplicate in the following form:

Descriptire list of Chinese laborer in transit through the Cnited States.

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The collector shall be satisfied of the correctness of the descriptive list before affix. ing his signature and seal.

One of the copies will be retained on the files of the office of the collector of customs at the port of arrival, and one forwarded by mail to the collector at the port of exit.

3. The collector of customs at the first port of arrival shall take a bond in the penal sum of not less than $200 for each Chinese laborer, conditioned for his transit and actual departure from the United States within a reasonable time, not exceeding twenty days from the date of arrival at such port. The bond may be given either by the transportation company issuing the through ticket, or by some responsible per. son in behalf of the laborer, and will be canceled on receipt from the collector of customs at the port of exit of a certificate showing that the person spocitied in the descriptive list transmitted to such port has actually departed therefrom, and stat. ing the name of the vessel and date of departure. Previous regulations on this subject are hereby rescinded.

WILLIAM WINDOM,

Secretary.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Tsui Kuo Yin.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 6, 1889. SIR : Referring to your note of the 5th ultimo, touching a regulation adopted by the Secretary of the Treasury, in relation to the transit of Chinese laborers through the territory of the United States, I have the honor to inform you that I have just received from my colleague of the Treasury a communication on that subject. He states that in consequence of the prohibition of the entrance of Chinese laborers into the United States, both by treaty and by law, it became necessary for him to devise measures to prevent a violation or evasion of the restrictions in question under cover of the exercise of the privilege of transit.

The regulation to which your note refers expressed the best judgment of the Treasury Department as to the minimum requirements to be enforced for the execution of the restrictive acts while facilitating the privilege of transit. Upon further consideration, however, it is proposed to amend the third paragraph of the regulations of September 28, 1889, by adding thereto an alternative provision that common carriers engaged in the business of transporting Chinese laborers in transit may execute a general bond in lieu of the special bond now required in the case of each transit laborer. The amendment of the regulation provides that any transportation company engagerl in the transit of Chinese laborers through the territory of the United States may execute such

FR 89—-10

general bond or undertaking to the United States in a penal sum, and with such conditions as may be fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and that such company and the Chinese laborers in transit whoin it transports shall thereafter be exempted from the foregoing requirements of the paragraph in question in respect to the execution of a spe. cial bond in the case of each laborer. It is proposed in this way to secure a guaranty of good faith and a pledge of reasonable diligence on the part of the companies engaged in transporting Chinese laborers in transit. It is not sought by the regulation in question to impair in any respect the privilege of the transit, but merely to exact from the companies engaged in the transportation of Chinese laborers a guaranty against the abuse of the privileges which they enjoy. Accept, etc.,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Mr. Windom to Mr. Blaine.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, D. C., November 26, 1889. Sir: I have the honor to receive your letter of the 15th instant, inclosing a copy of a note from the Chinese minister, under date of the 5th instant, taking exception to certain regulations prescribed in circular No. 100, series of 1889, from this Depart. ment, in relation to the transit of Chinese laborers through the territory of the United States.

A question having arisen at one of the ports of the United States touching the right of Chinese laborers to enter the United States, in transit from one foreign port to another, was referred by the collector of that port to this Department, which, by law, regulation, and custom, has a general supervision of such officers and the subjects committed to their jurisdiction. Upon consideration of the question by the Attorney-General, to whom it was presented, that officer gave bis opinion that the right of such transit was legal and proper.

In view of the provisions of the act of May 6, 1882, chapter 126; of July 5, 1684, chapter 220; of September 30, 1888, chapter 1015; and of October 1, 1888, chapter 1064; and of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Chae Chan Ping vs. The United States, 130 U. S. Reports, 581, that the act of October 1, 1688, was not unconstitutional, but the lawful exercise of the sovereigo power of the legislative branch of the Government, it became necessary to devise measures to prevent a violation or evasion of those statutes under cover of the transit privilege admitted to belong to Chinese laborers seeking to pass through the territory of the United States. The regulations to which the Chinese minister raises objection express the best judgment of the Department as to the minimum requirements to be enforced for the safe guarding of the Chinese exclusion acts, while facilitating the transit privileges of Chinese laborers.

In view of the existing statutes, the Department could not, under the guise of providing for the transit of Chinese laborers across American territory, leave an open door for the admission, at their will, of such of them as were disposed to establish themselves as additions to the population of the country.

Upon further consideration it is proposed to amend the third paragraph of the regulations of September 28, 1889, by adding thereto an alternative provision that common carriers engaged in the business of conveying Chinese laborers in transit may execute a general bond in lieu of the special bond now required in the case of each transit laborer. A draught of the regulation intended to effect this amelioration of the present requirements is herewith subunitted for your consideration. It would seem that any carrier unwilling to furnish proof and guaranty of good faith and reasonable diligence could not safely be intrusted with the participation in the execution of the so-called Chinese exclusion acts, nor be regarded as a proper instrumentality in the exercise of the transit privilege. It will be observed that it is in the case of laborers only that a regulated transit is prescribed by this Departinent. It seems equally clear that to permit an unregulated transit of that class of Chinese subjects would be equivalent to inviting a practical nullification of the laws prohibiting the immigratiou or return of persons of that class to the United States.

L

It would be unnecessary to convey to the Department of State an assurance that no purpose exists in or by the regulations described to interfere with or impair any treaty rights of Chinese laborers in the matter of such transit, or to withhold from them that comity due to the citizens of a friendly power.

The sole object of the regulation was to guard against the obvious danger of an infraction of those provisions of the law that prohibit the entry of Chinese laborers into the United States for the purpose of residence, while preserving to such laborers the right of transit through the country. I have, etc.,

W. WINDOM.

(Inclosure No. 1.1

Mr. Chapman to Mr. Windom.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

Washington, July 23, 1889. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications upon the subject of the “transit of Chinese laborers through the territory of the United States in the course of their journey to or from other countries," ono under date of July 19 instant, inclosing a letter of the Solicitor of the Treasury, a circular of the Treasury Department, No. 5, dated January 23, 1883, and a telegram from John W. Foster, counsel of the Chinese legation; the other, under date of July 20, inclosing a letter from the Acting Secretary of State, and a copy of a telegram from the Chinese minister. You state that

"Certain Chinese laborers have arrived at the port of New Orleans, and are now awaiting the determination of the question as to whether they have the right to pass through to San Francisco for the purpose of embarking for China, and I will therefore thank you for an expression of your opinion on this question at as early a day as practicable.”

In reply I would say that the same question arose under the act of May 6, 1882, (22 Stats. at Large, 58). It was submitted to this Department, and the opinion of December 26, 1882 (reconsidering a foriner opinion), was given. The conclusions reached in that opinion I believe to be correct.

Moreover, it appears that from that time the Department of State, uniformly, and the Treasury Department, generally, have recognized and acted upon the construction given therein, at least down to the passage of the act of October 1, 1888.

Manifestly the act of July 5, 1884 (23 Stats. at Large, 115), did not render the opinion inapplicable to the question submitted.

Nor does the act of October 1, 1838, known as “the Scott Exclusion Act" (25 Stats. at Large, 504), affect its application. That act was directed to “Chinese laborers” who had been or inight be residents here, and related to their departure and return.

I have been able to find no other legislation bearing materially upon the question. But it is possible that some of the “collectors of customs” to whom yon refer may have been influenced by the stringent provisious of the act of September 13, 1888 (25 Stats. at Large, 476). The restrictive provisions of that act, however, by its very terms do not take effect till “the date of the exchange of ratifications of the pending treaty," which date has not yet arrived.

I therefore adopt the carefully considered opinion of this Department, given under date of December 26, 1882, as expressing my views upon the question you submit without additional argument. I return the iuclosures as requested. Very respectfully,

0. W. CHAPMAN,

Solicitor General. Approved.

W. H. H. MILLER,

Attorney-General. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

(Inclosure No. 2. Circular.)

TRANSIT OF CHINESE LABORERS THROUGH THE UNITED STATES.

11889. Department No. 100, Division of Customs.)

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, D. C., September 20, 1889. To collectors and other officers of the customs :

In view of the opinion of the Attorney-General, promulgated in S.9519, of July 25, 1889, the following regulations for the transit of Chinese laborers through the terri: tory of the United States are hereby prescribed :

1. Any Chinese laborer claiming to be in transit through the territory of the United States in the course of a journey from and to other countries, shall be required to produce to the collector of customs at the first port of arrival a through ticket across the whole territory of the United States intended to be traversed, and such other proof as he may be able to adduce, to satisfy the collector of the fact that a bona fide transit only is intended; and such ticket and other evidence presented must be so stamped, or marked, and dated by the customs officer as to prevent their use for the second time.

2. Descriptive lists of all such Chinese laborers will be prepared in duplicate in the following form :

Descriptive list of Chinese laborer in transit through the United States.

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The collector shall be satisfied of the correctness of the descriptive list before affixing his sigoature and seal.

One of the copies will be retained on the files of the office of the collector of custoins at the port of arrival and one forwarded by mail to the collector at the port of exit.

3. The collector of customs at the first port of arrival shall take a bond in the penal sum of not less than $200 for each Chinese laborer, conditioned for his transit and actual departure from the United States within a reasonable time, not exceeding twenty days from the date of arrival at such port. The bond may be given either by the transportation company issuing the through ticket, or by some responsible person on bebalf of the laborer, and will be canceled on receipt from the collector of customs at the port of exit of a certificata showing that the person specified in the descriptive list transmitted to such port has actually departed therefrom, aud stating the name of the vessel and date of departure. Previous regulations on this subject are hereby rescinded.

WILLIAM WINDOM,

Secretary.

(Inclosure No.3.)

To collectors and other officers of the customs :

It is announced that para graph 3 of Department's Circular No. 100, dated September 28, 1889, relating to the transit of Chinese laborers through the United States, is hereby amended by the addition thereto of the following provisions :

Any transportation company engaged in the transit of Chinese laborers through the territory of the United States may execute such a general boud or undertaking to

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