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Lord Salisbury serait heureux de savoir ce que pense le Gouvernment Impérial et Royal des principes fondamentaux exposés par le Gouvernement Russe. Le Gouvernement Britannique se joint au désir exprimé d'éviter tout ce qui pourrait tendre à un partage de la Chine, mais, dans son ignorance actuelle de l'état et des intentions de l'autorité existant aujourd'hui à Pékin, il lui paraîtrait pour le moins prématuré de parler d'un rétablissement par les efforts concertés des Puissances d'un Gouvernement Central capable de garantir l'ordre et la sécurité.
Imperial Decree issued at Peking on the 21st of the 6th Moon (July 17), and received in London on July 21.-(Communicated by Sir Chihchen Lofengluh, July 24, 1900.)
THE present disturbance in our foreign relations is to be traced to the antipathies which have long existed between the native Christians and their fellow-subjects, and to the irritation occasioned by the Treaty Powers in attacking and occupying the forts at Taku.
The Court of Peking attach much importance to the maintenance of friendly relations with the Treaty Powers, and would view any interruption of them with sincere regret; and it was for this reason that, notwithstanding the hostilities at Taku, we have repeatedly issued Imperial Decrees enjoining the metropolitan and provincial authorities to accord plenary protection to the foreign Legations in Peking and foreigners residing in other parts of the Empire. And as the disturbances which called for these Decrees still continue unabated, and as large numbers of foreigners are resident in divers parts of China, we now command the Tartar Generals, the Viceroys and Governors of provinces, to make themselves acquainted with their various places of abode, whether at the Treaty ports or at the foos, chows, and hsiens in the interior, so that our Treaty obligation to give adequate protection to them may be fulfilled, and further untoward incidents prevented from occurring.
We were shocked to learn last month that Mr. Sugiyama, the Chancellor of the Japanese Legation, had been killed, and some time afterwards that Baron von Ketteler, the Minister of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, had been assassinated at his post in Peking. We now command that the parties to these outrages may be sought for and arrested without delay, in order that they may be punished according to law.
Since the outbreak of hostilities at Tien-tsin there have doubtless
been many peaceful missionaries and other foreigners, unconnected with these hostilities, who, at the hands of disorderly persons, have suffered in person or property. Let the Governor of Peking and the Viceroy of Chihli cause their cases to be severally investigated and reported to us for our information.
Recently in other parts of the Empire bandits and unruly persons have committed many acts of oppression, arson, rapine, and murder. The Viceroys and Governors of provinces and the high territorial military authorities are commanded to take stringent measures for the restoration of order and tranquillity in their respective Governments, and the extermination of the parties by whom these outrages were committed.
Let this, our Imperial Decree, be promulgated in every part of the Empire.
The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald.
Foreign Office, July 24, 1900. THE Chinese Minister in the course of conversation asked me what answer we proposed to give to the appeal which he had placed in our hands from His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of China. I replied that whenever the European Ministers should return to us unhurt, we should be very glad to discuss, and to discuss in the most favourable manner, any appeal which the Imperial Government of China might have to make to Her Majesty's Government; but as long as there remained this terrible doubt as to the fate which they might have incurred at the hands of the Chinese soldiery or the Boxers, it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government to enter into further negotiations with that of the Empire.
I am, &c.,
Sir C. MacDonald.
The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir H. Rumbold.
Foreign Office, July 25, 1900.
THE Austro-Hungarian Ambassador called at this Office to-day and read to Sir T. Sanderson a telegram from his Government, stating that the Austro-Hungarian vessels "Elizabeth" and "Aspern" are being sent to China under the command of Rear-Admiral Montecucoli, who, on arriving in Chinese waters, would also assume command of the two Austrian vessels already out there.
His Excellency stated in view of the comparatively small amount of Austro-Hungarian interests in China, his Government did not propose to send any military force; but the squadron would be prepared, if occasion arose, to land a considerable detachment in order to give evidence of the desire of Austria-Hungary to act with the other Powers interested.
Count Deym added that the Austro-Hungarian Government wish to show their readiness to participate in the joint work of humanity and civilization undertaken by the Powers, and that their Commanders would proceed in complete accord with the other Admirals as regards any operations.
I am, &c.,
Sir H. Rumbold.
Viscount Gough to the Marquess of Salisbury.—(Received July 27.) Berlin, July 25, 1900.
I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith copies and translations of a note verbale handed to the Imperial Foreign Office on the 21st instant by the Chinese Legation in Berlin, which purports to contain a direct message from the Emperor of China to the German Emperor asking for the latter's assistance.
The reply of Count von Bülow is likewise inclosed, in which his Excellency declines to submit the Chinese message to the German Emperor so long as the fate of the Europeans in Peking is unknown, the murder of Baron von Ketteler remains unatoned, and no proper guarantees for the future given.
I have, &c.,
The Marquess of Salisbury.
ON the 21st instant the Chinese Legation at Berlin handed the following note verbale to the Imperial Foreign Office :
"The Imperial Chinese Legation have the honour to bring the following telegram from the Imperial Council of State to the notice of the German Foreign Office. This telegram was dispatched to Yuen-shi-kia, Governor of Shantung, for further transmission to Yu-lieu-yuen, Taotai of Shanghae, to be forwarded thence to this Legation.
"The Emperor of the Tatsing dynasty sends greeting to His
Majesty the German Emperor. China and Germany have long lived in peace together, and on neither side has there subsisted any mistrust. Outbreaks of hatred have recently taken place between the Chinese population and the (native) Christians, during which Baron von Ketteler, Imperial German Minister, was unexpectedly murdered by the insurgents, which gives us occasion to express our profound regret. The inquiry had been commenced for the arrest and punishment of the murderer, when the suspicion arose among all the foreign States that the attitude of the Imperial Government towards the population in their persecution of the Christians was one of connivance. Thereupon followed first the capture of the forts of Taku, hostilities commenced, and the evil increased in complexity. The situation in which China at present finds herself will be difficult to put straight, especially as the Chinese Government have not the intention of ever allowing the existing good relations to undergo a change, for it is only owing to the circumstances at present prevailing that the Government have to their regret been forced into a position of constraint.
"For the removal of the universal feeling prevailing against the Chinese Government, and for a clearing up of the situation, there remains the one means of an appeal to the assistance of Germany. Therefore we open our heart to your Majesty in this letter, in the hope that the continuance of the friendly relations will thereby be assured, and that your Majesty may be moved to conceive a plan for the attainment of this end, and to assume the direction in order to bring about the former peaceful state of things. We pray that your Majesty will return us a favourable reply, our gratitude for which to your Majesty will always remain alive.
"Given the 23rd day of the 6th moon of the 26th year of the reign of Kwangsu."
July 19, 1900.
The Imperial Chinese Legation was thereupon handed the following note verbale on the 24th instant :
"Berlin, July 21, 1900.
"The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State, Count von Bülow, has received the note verbale from the Imperial Chinese Legation of the 21st instant, inclosing a telegraphic communication from His Majesty the Emperor of China to His Majesty the Emperor and King. Count Bülow does not find himself in a position to submit this telegram to His Majesty the Emperor and King so long as the fate of the foreign Missions shut in in Peking, and of the other foreigners there, has not been cleared up, and so long as the Imperial Chinese Government have not made
atonement for the outrageous murder of the Imperial Minister, and given adequate guarantees that their conduct in the future will be in accordance with the law of nations and with civilization."
Sir C. Scott to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received July 30.) (Extract.)
St. Petersburgh, July 21, 1900. ON receipt of your Lordship's telegram this morning I at once sought an interview of Count Lamsdorff, and read to him the observations which your Lordship had passed on the communication which the Russian Chargé d'Affaires had made to Her Majesty's Government of the views of his Government concerning the ulterior military measures which the Powers may have to undertake in China, and the question of concentrating in one single hand the command and direction of all the foreign detachments which may have to undertake such measures.
I said that Her Majesty's Government had carefully considered this communication, but found it essential to have some further explanations as to its meaning and intentions before expressing an opinion.
It was, I added, especially important to have some definite understanding as to the nature, scope, and object of the military measures which the Russian Government contemplates in this communication.
Speaking of these ulterior measures in the two first paragraphs of the communication, his Excellency had, I observed, mentioned the necessity of unifying the general command by an understanding between the local military authorities.
Did this, I asked, imply that all the international detachments on Chinese territory were to be employed on the contemplated military measures, and for this purpose all concentrated under the single hand of one General commanding the manœuvre of his choice?
I ventured to point out to his Excellency that "Chinese territory" was a very wide expression, and that we were scarcely yet able to gauge the extent of the danger which the Powers had to face, or assign to it any precise geographical limits.
Count Lamsdorff said that he wished at once to clear up any possible misunderstanding on this point.
The ulterior military measures contemplated in M. Lessar's communication were to be understood as exclusively confined to the present field of action of the international detachments, which might be roughly defined as the Province of Pechili. As regards other parts of China where danger might equally break out, it was clear