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In the participation of the United States in foreign international exhibitions the Department is naturally the official medium, but the practice of extending congressional recognition on these occasions has varied widely.
There was no national representation of the United States at the Crystal Palace Exhibition held in London in 1851, which was the first of the great World's Fairs. Several of the States appointed commissioners and the exhibits were under State supervision,26 but the fair had no official federal recognition. For the next fair held at London, that of 1862, a joint resolution of July 27, 1861,27 authorized the President to take such measures as should seem to him best to facilitate a proper representation of the industrial interests of the United States, $200,000 being appropriated for the purpose.
When the Government of France invited the United States to participate in a universal exposition to be held in 1867, Congress authorized and requested the Secretary of State by joint resolution of January 16, 1866,28 to prescribe general regulations concerning the participation of the United States. It was provided that there should be a principal agent of the exposition in New York and professional and scientific commissioners, appointed by the President. The Department issued these appointments, and conducted official correspondence with the French government; but the American agent and commissioners were expected to act directly with exhibitors, and this course has been pursued with reference to subsequent foreign fairs.
The Paris Universal Exposition of 1878 furnishes an example of the course usually followed. The joint resolution of December 15, 1877,29 provided for a Commissioner-General “ to represent the l'nited States in the proposed Exposition,” who was to make all regulations for exhibitors under the direction of the Secretary of State, and on March 12, 1878, Secretary William M. Evarts issued official instructions approving the rules which the Commissioner had prepared, laying down the limitations of expenditures and requiring
26 See Report of Benj. P. Johnson, Agent of the State of New York, appointed to attend the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations in London, 1851.
27 12 Stat., 328. 28 14 Stat. 347., 29 20 Stat., 245.
that reports on the exhibition be made to the Secretary of State in a form fitted to transmit to Congress for publication.30
For the Paris Exhibition of 1889 Secretary T. F. Bayard, in his letter of instructions to the Commissioner-General, General William B. Franklin, July 6, 1888, indicated the full extent of the Department's participation in the affairs of the exhibition.
“ The Department,” he said, “ will address to the Governor of each State and Territory an official notification in the language of the resolution of Congress; and the heads of the several Departments will be consulted as to the possibility of official cooperation. All replies to these communications will be transmitted to you."
He was required to make monthly reports of expenses to the Department.31 The Department's circular letter to the Governors was as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, July 3, 1888. Sir,
By a joint resolution of Congress, approved May 10, 1888, the Government of the United States accepted the invitation of the Republic of France to take part in an exposition of works of art and the products of manufactures and agriculture of all nations, to be held in Paris, commencing the 5th day of May and closing the 31st day of October, 1889.
I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of the joint resolution referred to, and in accordance with its terms I would request you, by such methods as you may deem most suitable, to notify the people of your State to assist in the proper representation of the productions of our industry and of the national resources of our country. I would also suggest that you take such further measures as may be necessary in order to secure to your State the advantages to be derived from this beneficent undertaking
The President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, has appointed General William B. Franklin as Commissioner-General to the Paris Exposition, and the office of the commission is now established at No. 35 Wall Street, New York City.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
T. F. BAYARD.3
30 Reports of Commissioners to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878, Vol. I, introduction.
31 Reports of the United States Commissioners to the Universal Exposition of 1889, I.
32 Report of Paris Com'r, i, xvii.
The last Congressional action relative to an international exposition was by Act of May 22, 1908,33 accepting the invitation of the Japanese Government to participate in the Exposition to be held in that country in 1912 (afterwards postponed by Japan to 1917). It provided for a preliminary survey by a commission of three Commissioners-General who should act under the directions of the Secretary of State.
[The next section will deal with the subdivisions of the Department.
33 35 Stat., 183.
THE CHINESE NATIONALITY LAW, 1909
The Chinese nationality law recently passed 1 is of considerablo interest as illustrating the tendency of China to fall in line with modern countries in respect to law-making, and her attempt to remedy by her independent legislation a phase of the anomalous situation growing out of her seventy years' intercourse with the outer world. The law aims at two points, (1) to define the status of nationality and (2) to minimize the abuse of the lax naturalization laws of some foreign countries as applied in their colonies near China.
With regard to the first point, the law supplies a long-felt want. Before China came in contact with European countries, Chinese nationality was based upon the principles of indissoluble natural allegiance and of disability of emigration. A Chinese was not free to go beyond the border of the seas” and when he succeeded in leaving the country he still remained a Chinese in the eyes of the law, though he had been duly naturalized in a foreign land; wherefore, if he returned to China, the authorities might or might not punish him for violating the prohibition, but in neither case was he clothed with the character of an alien so as to entitle him to the protection of his adopted country. This doctrine of perpetual allegiance, tolerable as it might have been at a time when nations were sufficient unto themselves, was incompatible with the adventurous and commercial spirit of the nineteenth century. Shortly after the Opium War, the people of the two southern provinces of China, Kwangtung and Fukien, began to emigrate in large numbers to foreign lands in quest of wealth, and not a few were naturalized there. China realized that changed conditions, coupled with her military weakness, did not warrant the pushing forward of her claims to their allegiance, and, moreover, she soon discovered the benefit derived from the emigration of her subjects; but she would not formally sanction the right of
1 See Supplement, p. 160.
emigration, much less the right of alienage, for that would amount to the abandonment of her traditional view of perpetual allegiance, so essential to the Chinese version of the “ Divine Right” theory. The Chinese Government considered the principles of allegiance as too sacred to be subject to change. All they would do was to slacken the rigidity of its operation and give provincial authorities discretion to dispose of cases in such a way as circumstances might demand. In other words, China, instead of remodelling her nationality system to meet the changed conditions of the time, simply.allowed matters to drift. The result of such a state of things was that for nearly a century the Chinese nationality system was an anachronism, accompanied by serious difficulties to the government and the people. Taking advantage of the vagueness of the system, not a few unscrupulous provincial officials decided nationality cases at their own caprice and for their own benefit. In many instances they refused to recognize the acquired nationality, thus involving the country in international controversies; and in others, they considered the mere fact of emigration to be evidence of denationalization, regardless of the hardship to which individuals were thereby subjected. Where the question of inheritance was involved, a shrewd party would also not be slow to call into play all old theories of nationality that would oust the rightful owners from possession. Now, with the passage of this law all these grievances and abuses are bound to become things of the past. The law fixes the criterion of Chinese nationality in precise and definite language so that individuals can at all times know to what country they belong.
Concerning the second point, namely the mitigation of abuses of the lax naturalization laws of some foreign countries, the law takes a long step toward securing the object in view. For many decades the authorities of the European colonies near China and especially the Portuguese authorities at Macao have, partly for political and partly for pecuniary reasons, granted naturalization certificates to Chinese who have not been out of China and who simply have to allege that they were born in one of those colonies. Having secured this naturalization they continue to reside in China without disclosing their change of allegiance. They enjoy all civil and political