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I have therefore consulted with the Japanese and British representatives here, and they both agree with me as to the desirability of opening Ta-tung-kou, Mukden, and Harbin.

The British, having completed their treaty, are only making general suggestions to the Chinese as to the importance of opening these places. The Japanese are demanding in their treaty the opening of Ta-tung-kou, which they have, as we have, and for the same reason, substituted for Ta-ku shan and Mukden. They, however, acknowledge the importance of opening Harbin, but have not been instructed to demand it in their treaty.

The Japanese and British are the only powers which seem interested in this matter, and hence I have not conferred with any of my other colleagues upon the question.

I have, etc.,

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

E. H. CONGER.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, July 1, 1903.

(Mr. Conger reports that Prince Ch'ing reiterates willingness of Chinese Government to open ports, but says it is absolutely impossible until Russian evacuation. Prince Ch'ing again confidentially promised that China would open ports very soon after evacuation; he could not give written promise, as this would influence Russia the same as actually opening the ports.)

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1344.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Peking, July 1, 1903. SIR: Yesterday, by appointment, I had a long conference with Prince Ch'ing and, as instructed, presented again the reasonableness of our request for the opening of Manchurian ports and insisted that, under the provisions of the Final Protocol and the importance of our trade, we were justified in demanding a prompt and willing compliance therewith.

The Prince agreed with what I said, acknowledged that the ports ought to be opened, and declared that China would herself open them at once but for the difficulties presented by the Russian occupation. He said that the restoration of Manchuria by the Russians was of vital importance to China, and she could not afford to do anything which would be reasonably certain to prevent this.

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I asked him, then, if he desired that the conclusion of our treaty should wait indefinitely for the Russian withdrawal. He said by no means, and he sincerely hoped that the United States Government would not, under the unfortunate circumstances described, insist upon waiting for this, but that the treaty might be concluded and signed at

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I left him with a clear understanding that my Government, being assured by the Russian Government that it had no objections, believed that China could and should open the ports, but that I would again wire it what he said.

* *

The final evacuation of Manchuria, according to the original agreement, is to take place on the 8th of October next. It does not seem to me, therefore, that the conclusion of our treaty should wait, since Messrs. Goodnow and Seaman report to me that, with the exception of opening treaty ports, they and the Chinese commissioners have agreed upon all other questions in conformity with your instructions. I have, etc., E. H. CONGER.

Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 13, 1903.

(Acknowledging Mr. Conger's telegram of July 1, Mr. Hay states that this Government fails to appreciate Prince Ch'ing's reason for not giving written promise. Instructs Mr. Conger to continue, as occasion may serve, to urge compliance with request for ports along lines telegraphed to him at various times, and states that this point must be included in the treaty.)

Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 14, 1903.

(Mr. Hay states that the following declaration has been handed him by the Russian chargé d'affaires:

The Imperial Government declares that whatever may be the outcome of the negotiations actually in progress between Russia and the Celestial Empire, which have for their only purpose the obtaining of guarantees for the essential interests of Russia in the province occupied by their forces, it has never entered into its views to oppose the opening to foreign commerce by China in the course of the development of its commercial relations of certain cities in Manchuria so long as foreign settlements are not established. The above declaration does not concern Harbin, a city situated in the zone allotted to the eastern line of the Chinese railway system, and which is consequently not found in the sphere of the entire and uncontrolled jurisdiction of the Chinese Government. Foreign consuls will not be admitted in this city unless the Imperial Government deems it opportune.

Mr. Conger is directed to at once hand a copy of this declaration to Prince Ch'ing, and to urge in the strongest manner immediate agreement on localities to be opened to trade by treaty; authorized to accept Ta-tung-kou and Mukden, waiving Harbin for some future negotiation. Prompt and final action is highly desirable for all interests concerned.)

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, July 22, 1903.

(Acknowledging Mr. Hay's telegram of July 14, Mr. Conger reports that Prince Ch'ing reaffirms willingness of the Chinese Government to open the ports, but reiterates the absolute impossibility of opening them until the withdrawal of Russia. States that Prince Ch'ing has given his written promise that then China herself will open two of the three places in Manchuria.

States that Peking is now practically open, but China will not put it in a treaty.

This seems to be the best under the circumstances that China can do at present.

Mr. Conger recommends that treaty be concluded immediately without the ports.)

Mr. Loomis to Mr. Conger.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 22, 1903.

(Replying to Mr. Conger's telegram of July 22, Mr. Loomis states that promise even in writing of Chinese Government to open ports after Russian withdrawal is unsatisfactory, and that the provision must be included in treaty; that further discussion as to opening of Peking may be dropped.)

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1353.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Peking, July 23, 1903. SIR: I have the honor to confirm your telegrams of the 13th and 14th instant, and mine of the 22d.

As soon as possible after the receipt of your instructions I arranged for an interview with Prince Ch'ing, he coming in from the Summer Palace on the 20th instant. I presented him with a copy of the Russian declaration, and insisted that now there could be no longer any reason why our demands should not be complied with, and that my Government could only consider further refusal on the part of the Chinese Government as an expression of its unwillingness to comply with our reasonable request, or a determination to indefinitely delay, etc.

He replied in substance that Russia had in no way intimated to them that the objections in which she had been so persistent were withdrawn or in any manner modified, and that he could only repeat what he had plainly said so many times before, that it was absolutely impossible for China to take any formal action whatever upon the question as long as Russia was in possession of Manchuria. China was extremely desirous to please the United States and disliked exceedingly to be compelled to refuse her request, but she dared not either

agree by treaty to open the ports, or open them by edict, until the withdrawal of Russia, and he hoped the United States would appreciate China's unfortunate position and believe in her sincerity. He said that China recognized the importance of opening the ports (excepting Harbin) named, and was herself ready and willing to open them; and he begged me to telegraph my Government that just as soon as the Russians withdrew an edict would be immediately published opening the ports.

After considerable discussion I told him that if he would put this promise in writing I would wire you. He strongly objected, but finally consented to do so if in his promise he might say "two of the ports mentioned" instead of actually writing the names of the ports, but that it should be clearly understood between us that Mukden and Ta-tung-kou were the ports intended. As only these two ports and Harbin had been mentioned, I agreed to wire you the facts as soon as I received the written promise. It was handed me last night. 1 inclose a copy. It is not as clear and emphatic as it might be, but the best he could be induced to sign. I inclose copy of my reply.

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During the conference Prince Ch'ing also promised that if the question of opening ports could be left out of the treaty he would instruct the Chinese commissioners to at once send to Peking a copy of the several articles agreed upon for review only, but not for any material change or discussion; after which instructions would be immediately given to them to conclude and sign.

In previous conversations with the ministers of the foreign office they have acknowledged the fact that Peking is practically open to foreign residence and trade, but they say that the court could never formally consent by solemn treaty that jurisdiction of territory in their capital, and adjoining the imperial palaces themselves, should pass into the hands of foreign powers. Of course the legation quarter has already done so. I am quite confident, therefore, that it is useless to press for any treaty mention of Peking.

I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

[Inclosure 1.]

Prince Ch'ing to Mr. Conger.

Concerning the matter of opening ports in the three eastern provinces (Manchuria), which I, the Prince, yesterday discussed in a personal interview with your excellency, China has already had the intention to open and establish commercial ports at two of the places which we mentioned, but it will be necessary to wait until the Russian troops now temporarily occupying the Three Eastern Provinces shall be entirely withdrawn and the local government handed back, when China herself will open them.

Intercalary Fifth Moon, 26th day (July 20, 1903).

[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Conger to Prince Ch'ing.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, July 22, 1903.

YOUR IMPERIAL HIGHNESS: In accordance with the agreement made at our personal conference on the 20th instant, I yesterday had the honor to receive from the hands

of Mr. Ku the written promise of your imperial highness concerning the opening of Manchurian ports as follows:

"Concerning the matter of opening ports in the three eastern provinces, which I, the Prince, yesterday discussed in a personal interview with your excellency, China has already had the intention to open and establish commercial ports at two of the places which we mention, but it will be necessary to wait until the Russian troops now temporarily occupying the Three Eastern Provinces shall be entirely withdrawn and the local government handed back, when China herself will open them.”

Of the three places mentioned, Mukden, Ta-tung-kou, and Harbin, it is conceded that it is difficult for China to open Harbin, but I have, as I agreed to do, at once telegraphed to my Government, your imperial highness's positive promise that the other two, Mukden and Ta-tung-kou, will be opened by China herself just as soon as the government of the Three Eastern Provinces is handed back to China by Russia, and I will communicate to your highness its reply when received.

I avail, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 26, 1903.

(Mr. Hay states that if Prince Ch'ing will send Mr. Conger a note agreeing to sign treaty on October 8, providing for opening Mukden and Ta-tung-kou, we will wait until then. Instructs him to make it clear to Chinese Government that date on which new localities shall be opened may, if necessary, be fixed at three months after exchange of ratifications of our treaty; their immediate opening not expected. This will allow abundant time for China to reestablish her administration in all such localities.

The Chinese foreign office, in its notes to Mr. Conger of May 24 and May 27, promised virtually to provide by treaty for opening new ports in Manchuria. Mr. Conger is to insist on compliance with this. Russian declaration of July 14 removes all objections on its part to immediate conclusion of our treaty. We will insist on inclusion of article in treaty providing for new ports in Manchuria, even if they are opened now by China herself, and will not sign treaty without it. Mr. Conger's careful attention is called to Mr. Hay's telegraphic instruction of May 29, and he is instructed to use the arguments therein furnished.)

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, August 3, 1903.

(Mr. Conger reports that he held a conference on August 3 with the Prince on the subject of Mr. Hay's telegram of July 26. The Prince promises to reply very soon.)

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