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July, it was not possible for him to submit to Her Majesty any proposals for a reply to that message so long as the Queen was left in uncertainty as to the safety of her Envoy at Peking and communication with him was interrupted.
Now that by the efforts of the allied forces the European Legations have been rescued from the attacks of troops under the command of officers of the Emperor of China, the Chinese Minister has inquired whether a reply will not be sent to his Imperial Majesty's message.
The accounts which reach Her Majesty's Government of the treatment of British and other European missionaries in the Province of Shansi, where the Imperial Court is reported to be now residing, are of so distressing a nature that Lord Salisbury is, to his regret, still unable to submit such a message for Her Majesty's approval.
It is reported that a number of missionaries have been killed, some by the direct orders of the Governor of Shansi, and that the fate of a still larger number, including children, is still unknown.
The Queen has been deeply moved by the dreadful accounts which have reached her.
Until the Emperor has shown in some signal manner his disapproval of these shocking acts committed in the proximity of His Imperial Majesty's Court, and has issued stringent orders for the rescue of those sufferers who may still have survived, Lord Salisbury cannot advise Her Majesty to reply to the Emperor's message. Foreign Office, September 20, 1900.
Count Hatzfeldt to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received
German Embassy, London, September 18, 1900. IN accordance with instructions received, I have the honour to make the following communication to your Excellency :
The Government of His Majesty the Emperor consider that it should be a preliminary condition to entering upon diplomatie intercourse with the Chinese Government, that those persons who are ascertained to have been the first and real instigators of the offences against international law, committed at Peking, should be given up. The number of persons employed as instruments to carry out the criminal work is too great; an execution en masse would go against the civilized conscience. Circumstances will even prevent the possibility of ascertaining the names of all belonging to the group of the leaders. Those few of them, however, whose guilt is notorious, should be surrendered and punished. The
Representatives of the Powers at Peking will be able to give, or to obtain, the most trustworthy evidence in this inquiry. It is not so important that a large number of persons should be punished as that the chief instigators and leaders should receive punishment. His Majesty's Government believe that they can count on the unanimity of all the Cabinets on this point, since indifference to the idea of just retribution would be equivalent to indifference to a repetition of the offence. The Government of His Majesty the Emperor therefore propose to the Cabinets concerned that they should instruct their Representatives at Peking to indicate those leading Chinese as to whose guilt in instigating or committing the crimes there is no room for doubt.
I should be much obliged if your Excellency would inform me whether Her Majesty's Government agree to this proposal in regard to the surrender of the guilty.
The Marquess of Salisbury.
I have, &c.,
United States' Acting Secretary of State to Mr. White.-(Communicated to Foreign Office, September 22.)
Part 1.-On 17th September the Chinese Minister presented copy of a Circular telegram from Prince Ching announcing appointment as Plenipotentiary, conjointly with Earl Li Hung-chang, to negotiate peace, and requesting that United States' Minister at Peking be instructed to open negotiations. The following reply has been handed to-day to Chinese Minister:
"The Government of the United States accepts the Plenipotentiary authority of Earl Li Hung-chang and Prince Ching as prima facie sufficient for the preliminary negotiations, looking toward the return of the Imperial Chinese Government, and to the resumption of its authority at Peking, and toward the negotiation of a complete settlement by the duly appointed Plenipotentiaries of the Powers and of China. To these ends the United States' Minister in Peking will be authorized to enter into relations with Earl Li and Prince Ching, as the immediate Representatives of the Chinese Emperor."
Part 2-On 17th September the Russian Chargé delivered a Memorandum inquiring, first, whether the United States intends to transfer its Legation from Peking to Tien-tsin; secondly, if full powers of Prince Ching and Li Hung-chang are recognized by the United States as sufficient; and, thirdly, if the United States is prepared to charge its Representatives to enter forthwith upon [1900-1901. XCIV.] 4 N
preliminary negotiations with the Plenipotentiaries of the Chinese Emperor. The following Memorandum, in reply, has been sent to the Russian Chargé to-day :
"(1.) The Government of the United States has not any present intention to withdraw its Legation from Peking; (2) the Government of the United States accepts the Plenipotentiary authority of Earl Li Hung-chang and Prince Ching as primâ facie sufficient for the preliminary negotiations, looking toward the return of the Imperial Chinese Government, and to the resumption of its authority at Peking, and toward the negotiation of a complete settlement by the duly appointed Plenipotentiaries of the Powers and of China; (3) to these ends the United States' Minister in Peking will be authorized to enter into relations with Earl Li and Prince Ching as the immediate Representatives of the Chinese Emperor."
Part 3.-On 18th September the German Chargé communicated by note the Imperial German Circular, proposing that as prerequisite to any negotiations, the Chinese Government deliver the real responsible authors of crimes against international law, recently perpetrated in China.
To this the following note has been handed German Chargé to-day
"In response to your inquiry of the 18th instant as to the attitude of the Government of the United States in regard to the exemplary punishment of the notable leaders in the crimes committed in Peking against international law, I have the honour to make the following statement: The Government of the United States has from the outset proclaimed its purpose to hold to the uttermost accountability the responsible authors of any wrongs done in China to citizens of the United States and their interests, as was stated in the Government's Circular communication to the Powers of 3rd July last. These wrongs have been committed not alone in Peking, but in many parts of the Empire, and their punishment is believed to be an essential element of any effective settlement which shall prevent a recurrence of such outrages and bring about permanent safety and peace in China.
"It is thought, however, that no punitive measures can be so effective, by way of reparation for wrongs suffered and as deterrent examples for the future, as the degradation and punishment of the responsible authors by the supreme Imperial authority itself; and it seems only just to China that she should be afforded, in the first instance, an opportunity to do this, and then rehabilitate herself before the world. Believing this, and without abating in any wise its deliberate purpose to exact the fullest accountability from the responsible authors of the wrongs we have suffered in China the Government of the United States is not disposed as
preliminary condition to entering into diplomatic negotiations with the Chinese Government, to join in a demand that said Government surrender to the Powers such persons as, according to the determination of the Powers themselves, may be held to be the first and real perpetrators of these wrongs.
"On the other hand, this Government is disposed to hold that the punishment of the high responsible authors of these wrongs, not only in Peking but throughout China, is essentially a condition to be embraced and provided for in the negotiations for a final settlement. It is the purpose of this Government, at the earliest practicable moment, to name its Plenipotentiaries for negotiating a settlement with China, and in the meantime to authorize its Minister in Peking to enter forthwith into conference with the duly authorized Representatives of the Chinese Government, with a view to bringing about a preliminary Agreement, whereby the full exercise of the Imperial power for the preservation of order and the protection of foreign life and property throughout China, pending final negotiations with the Powers, shall be assured. Accept Sir, &c."
You will communicate all foregoing to Minister for Foreign Affairs, inviting information of the replies of his Government in the three cases.
W. HILL, Acting.
Sir C. MacDonald to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received
Peking, September 22, 1900. FOLLOWING is a résumé of the situation up to the present
The Grand Secretary Li Hung-chang has arrived in Tien-tsin; he is expected in Peking before long.
Before negotiations commence Prince Ching is waiting for Li to arrive. Meantime, he has exchanged visits with the Representatives of the foreign Powers, and has expressed his hopes for peace. It is apparently his opinion that the Court may return. If the Emperor cared for the interests of China, said his Highness to me, he must come back here.
On the 15th a separate letter was addressed by each of the foreign Representatives, except the German, urging that in the interests of a lasting peace the Court should return, as it would further the tranquillity of the country, as well as demonstrate that the influence of the Court's former advisers was at an end.
The reply made by Prince Ching was to the effect that he
had already sent urging the Emperor to return, and that in support he would transmit our letters also.
The Court is, so far as is known, still at Tai Yuan-fu, the capital of Shansi Province. It is reported that the leaders of the war party are also there. The notorious Yu Hsien is Governor of
Confidence appears to be increasing in Peking, and several misor officials are back in Peking; there are, however, it is believed, a quantity of Boxers in the city in hiding.
The foreign Representatives, all of whom are here except the Dutch and Austrian, assure me without exception that their Governments have sent them absolutely no instructions.
The railway line is in course of construction by ourselves and the Japanese between Fengtai and Huangtsun, which is the next station further south.
Work is progressing well; the villages near the line had looted a large quantity of railway material, which has now been recovered by us.
Mr. Whitehead to the Marquess of Salisbury.—(Received
Tôkiô, September 22, 1900. THE Japanese answer to the German Circular is as follows:"In order to make it possible for the Powers to renew diplomatic relations with China, Japanese Government agree that punishment of real instigators must first take place. They are, therefore, ready to give instructions to their Representative in China to co-operate with other Representatives in order to ascertain and point out the individuals to whom the responsibility of the recent outrages is to be attributed. However, in giving practical effect to German Government's proposal to insist on their delivery, they anticipate grave difficulties. Further, an exchange of views between the
Powers will be necessary on this point."
Mr. Whitehead to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received
Tôkiô, September 22, 1900 THE following is the substance of answer to three questions of Russian Circular:
1. The withdrawal of the Legations to Tien-tsin does not seez opportune while Prince Ching is at Peking in communication. with Foreign Ministers and Li Hung-charg is on his way thither.