No. 118.

Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 14.]

Sir: * * * I inclose herwith two decrees relating to the reorganization of the imperial navy. The Tsung-li Yamên, Li Hung Chang, and the Seventh Prince were ordered to report a scheme of organization. They made their report. The Seventh Prince, Prince Chun, is put at the head of naval affairs, and Prince Ching, who is a member of the yamên, and Li Hung Chang are made colleagues.

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This means on the part of China the construction of a great fleet and putting the coast in complete defense. It may result in the employment of American officers to command the vessels.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 14.]

A decree published in the manuscript Peking Gazette, October 12, 1885, issued by the Empress dowager.

Some time ago, on account of the great importance of the reorganization of the coast defense, we ordered the northern and southern ministers, superintendent of trade, and others, to consider and report upon the subject, and they have duly submitted their respective views. We further ordered the princes and ministers of the grand council and of the Tsung-li Yamên, in conjunction with Li Hung Chang, to carefully consider this question and report. We also ordered the seventh prince to take part in all their deliberations. These officers have now submitted a comprehensive plan and they propose that a beginning be made by perfecting the organization of the naval squadron of the northern coast, and further improvements to be made gradually, year by year. As these propositions are very satisfactory, therefore let Prince Chun be appointed chief controller of naval affairs, and all measures of the coast defense to be decided by him. Let Prince Ching and the grand secretary and viceroy of Chihli, Li Hung Chang, be appointed as his colleagues in this management, and the lieutenant-general of the Chinese Red Banner Corps, Shan Ching, and the junior vice-president of the board of war, Tseng Chi Tze (Marquis Tseng) are appointed as assistant managers. Li Hung Chang will be made solely responsible for the reorganization of naval affairs for the northern coast.

And the said princes and ministers will carefully and minutely consider all necessary plans, and draw up proper regulations and submit them in due course to the throne.

Respect this.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 14.]

A decree published in the manuscript Peking Gazette, October 12, 1885, issued by the Empress dowager.

Prince Chun and others, in obedience to our commands to consider and devise plans for the reorganization of the coast defenses, submitted a report in which they state that Taiwan (Formosa), being a place of great importance, should have a high officer stationed there, &c.

Taiwan being the portal of our southern coast makes it a place of extreme importance, and therefore arrangements should be made in keeping with the changing times.

Therefore, let the office of governor of Fuhkien be changed to that of Taiwan, said governor to permanently reside there. Let the affairs of the governorship of Fuhkien be placed under the management of the viceroy of Fuhkien and Chekiang. The said viceroy and governor will deliberate carefully upon whatever may be necessary in effecting this change and report thereon.

Respect this.