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the Governor of Shantung to issue orders by Proclamation, and to strictly forbid the above proceedings.
We have the honour to reply accordingly for your Excellency's information.
(Seal of Yamên.)
(Inclosure 2.)-The Tsung-li Yamén to Sir C. MacDonald.
Peking, March 1, 1900. WITH regard to the strict prohibition of the disturbances raised by the "Fist Society" in Shantung and Chihli, the Yamên lately memorialized the Throne, and, in obedience to the Imperial commands, sent instructions to the Governor-General of Chihli and the Governor of Shantung to issue Proclamations in terms of severe prohibition.
We wrote to your Excellency to this effect on the 25th February.
We have now received a reply from the Governor-General of Chibli stating that he has instructed all local authorities within his jurisdiction to issue a Proclamation couched in words of the most stringent admonition. His Excellency sends us a draft of the Proclamations to be issued.
When we receive the reply of the Governor of Shantung we will again communicate with your Excellency. Meanwhile we send you a copy of the Governor-General of Chihli's draft Proclamation.
(Seal of Yamêu.)
(Inclosure 3.)-Proclamation by the Governor-General of Chihli. (Translation.)
IN a matter of the most stringent admonition and strict prohibition.
On the 21st February last the following Imperial Decree was reverently received:
"The Tsung-li Yamên memorializes requesting our orders for the strict suppression of the Fist Society.' Last year the Governor of Shantung telegraphed that the Society known as the Fist of Righteous Harmony' in many of his districts, under the plea of enmity to foreign religions, were raising disturbances in all directions, and had extended their operations into the southern part of Chibli. We have repeatedly ordered the Governor-General of Chilli and the Governor of Shantung to send soldiers to keep the peace. But it is to be feared that if stern measures of suppression of such proceedings as secretly establishing Societies with names
and collecting in numbers to raise disturbances be not taken, the ignorant populace will be deluded and excited, and as time goes on things will grow worse, and when some serious case ensues we shall be compelled to employ troops to extirpate the evil. The sufferers would be truly many, and the Throne cannot bear to slay without warning.
"Let the Governor-General of Chihli and the Governor of Shantung issue the most stringent Proclamations admonishing the people and strictly prohibiting (the Societies), so that our people may all know that to secretly establish Societies is contrary to prohibition, and a breach of the law.
"Evil customs must be rooted out, and the people encouraged to be good. Should any obstinately adhere to their delusions and persist in their old ways, they must be immediately punished with the greatest severity and without the slightest mercy.
"Both converts and the ordinary Chinese are the subjects of the Throne, and in all cases of lawsuits the local officials must adjudicate with fairness, discriminating only between right and wrong, and not between the adherents of foreign religions and others. There must be no trace of partiality. Thus will be supported our supreme desire to treat all with equal benevolence.
"Let the high officials named proclaim our words, that all people may know our will."
I (the Governor-General) find it settled by decided cases that those people of no occupation, busy bodies who style themselves Professors, and practise boxing, and play with clubs, and teach people their arts; those also who learn from these men, and those who march about and parade the villages and marts flourishing tridents, and playing with sticks, hoodwinking the populace to make a profit for themselves, are strictly forbidden to carry on such practices. Should any disobey, on arrest the principals will receive 100 blows with the heavy bamboo, and be banished to a distance of 1,000 miles. The pupils will receive the same beating, and be banished to another province for three years, and, on expiration of that period and return to their native place be subjected to strict surveillance.
Should any inn, temple, or house harbour these people without report to the officials, or should the police and others not search them out and arrest them, the delinquents will be sentenced to 80 blows with the heavy bamboo for improper conduct in the higher degree.
From this it appears that teaching or practising boxing and club play, and deluding the people for private gain are fundamentally contrary to law. But of late some of the ignorant populace have been deluded by ruffians from other parts of the
Empire, who talk of charms and incantations and spiritual incarnations which protect from guns and cannon.
They have dared to secretly establish the Society of the Fist of Righteous Harmony, and have practised drill with fists and clubs. The movement has spread in all directions, and under the plea of hatred of foreign religions these people have harried the country. When soldiers and runners came to make arrests, turbulent ruffians had the audacity to defy them, relying on their numbers, thereby exhibiting a still greater contempt for the law.
Although the officials, civil and military, have put out many Proclamations admonishing the people, there are still great numbers who, while professing obedience, are secretly recalcitrant and cling to their former errors. It must be remembered that both converts and ordinary Chinese are the cherished sons of the Government. Should differences arise between any of these, it is a matter of duty for the parties to have recourse to an official decision; but to presume to assemble in armed mobs to burn and destroy houses, and rob and pillage, and even to hold men to ransom, and inflict bodily injury, and to defy and resist the official troops, is conduct differing in no respect from that of robbers and rebels.
You have all of you your lives and property. Why then allow yourselves to be deluded and excited by wicked men, and cling to your mistaken ideas, deliberately entering the meshes of the law?
In addition to instructing all the local officials to adopt strict measures of prohibition, and to punish without fail all offenders, I hereby issue this most stringent admonition, and notify all people in my jurisdiction, gentry and every class of the population, that you should clearly understand that the establishment and formation of secret Societies for the practice of boxing and club exercises are contrary to prohibition and a breach of the law.
The assembly of mobs to create disturbances and all violent outrages are acts which the law will still less brook.
As regards the establishment of these boxing lodges, which excite and delude the people, and give rise to disturbances, strict orders have now been issued for the arrest and punishment of the ringleaders. They have no chance whatever of escaping the hand. of justice. As to the ignorant and stupid persons who have been persuaded to join the Society and practise boxing, it is imperative that they recognize their error, abandon their pernicious practices and exert themselves to be good subjects of the Empire. Should they speedily correct their fault, their past offences will be graciously overlooked; but if they do not mend their ways and continue in their evil course, and lodges are again established for the practice of boxing and club exercise, and the people led into error for the private gain of the promoters, the local officials will immediately, in
combination with the military forces, arrest the offenders, who will be punished with the utmost severity, without the slightest mercy.
The converts and the ordinary people are all the subjects of the Throne, and are regarded by the Government with impartial benc volence. No distinction is made between them. Should they have lawsuits they must bow to the judgments of the officials. The ordinary people must not give way to rage, and by violent acts create feuds and trouble.
The converts, on the other hand, must not stir up strife and oppress the people, or incite the missionaries to screen them and help them to obtain the upper hand.
The local officials must, on their part, carefully observe the stipulations of the Treaties. In their decision of cases brought before them they must not consider who is a convert or who is an ordinary Chinese. They must only differentiate between right and wrong, and must act with impartiality and without any favour to either side.
Finally, it is my fervent wish that all, whether converts or ordinary people, will attend to their own affairs and keep the law, that all needless suspicions be abandoned, and that all may cultivate friendly relations the one with the other.
Let all tremblingly obey!
(Inclosure 4.)-Sir C. MacDonald to the Tsung-li Yamên.
MM. LES MINISTRES,
Peking, February 27, 1900.
I HAVE the honour to acknowledge receipt of your Highness' and your Excellencies' note of the 25th instant, in answer to my notes of the 27th January and the 21st February on the subject of the anti-Christian disturbances in Shantung and Chihli.
As the Yamên have not acceded to my request to obtain the issue of an Imperial Decree in the terms specified in my note of the 27th January, I beg to repeat a portion of that despatch with the addition of the words " in the 'Peking Gazette.'
I request that an Imperial Decree may be issued and published in the "Peking Gazette" ordering by name the complete suppres sion and abolition of the "Fist of Righteous Harmony" and "Big Sword Societies," and I request that it may be distinctly stated in the Decree that to belong to either of these Societies, or to harbour any of its members, is a criminal offence against the law of China.
Nothing less than this will, I am convinced, put an end to the outrages against Christians which have lately been so prevalent in Chibli and Shantung. Should the Chinese Government refuse this reasonable request I shall be compelled to report to my Government
their failure to take what may be called only an ordinary precaution against a most pernicious and anti-foreign organization. The consequences of further disorder in the districts concerned cannot fail to be extremely serious to the Chinese Government.
I avail, &c.,
The Tsung-li Yamên.
CLAUDE M. MACDONALD.
Sir C. MacDonald to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received
Peking, March 5, 1900. WITH reference to my despatch of to-day's date, I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship copy of the notes taken during the interview on the 2nd instant between myself and the Representatives of the United States, France, Germany, and Italy, and the Ministers of the Yamên, on the subject of the Boxer disturbI have, &c.,
CLAUDE M. MACDONALD.
The Marquess of Salisbury.
(Inclosure.)—Memorandum of Interview between Sir C. MacDonald, with four other foreign Representatives, and the Tsung-li Yamên, on the subject of Boxer Disturbances in Shantung and Chihli.
SIR CLAUDE MACDONALD, with Mr. Fulford and Mr. Ker; Mr. Conger, United States' Minister, with Mr. Cheshire; Baron Ketteler, German Minister, with Baron von der Goltz; Marquis Salvago, Italian Minister, with Dr. Merklinghaus; and Baron d'Anthouard, French Chargé d'Affaires, with M. Morisse, called by appointment at the Yamên, and were received by Prince Ch'ing Wang Wen-shao, Chao Shu-ch'iao, Hsü Jung-i, Hsu Ching-ch'eng, Wu Ting-fen, Kuei Ch'un, Lien Yuan.
Sir Claude MacDonald recapitulated the circumstances which had induced the five Representatives to come to-day to discuss the disturbances now going on in Shantung and Chibli. It was admitted that these disturbances were the work of two Societies known as the I-Ho-Ch'uan and the Ta Tao Hui. On the 11th January an Imperial Decree was published in the "Peking Gazette," which, although not mentioning these Societies by name, was drawn up in such ambiguous terms that it has given rise to a wide-spread impression that these Societies were actually encouraged by the Throne. The result had been to unsettle people's minds, and in many cases to produce further disturbances.
The Representatives of the various Powers who had special interests in those two provinces on account of the number of