to Mr. Bayard.
Peking, September 29, 1886. (Received November 15.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the reply of the Tsung-li yamên to my communication of September 14, relating to the Chungking riot, and my answer to their reply.
The yamên set out a report from the governor-general, wherein he asserts that the buildings of the American missionaries interfered with the feng shui and excited the people.
The yamên observes that in the eastern part of Szechuan the Chinese and the native converts have gotten on badly together; that the present affair was a surprise; that the local authorities desired but were unable to afford protection, and that, in view of the events which transpire in western countries, my charge that the conduct of the authorities showed willful neglect of duty is too severe. The yamên states that an imperial decree has already been issued to investigate the matter and do justice.
In my answer to this communication I combat the idea that the riot originated because the American missionaries had built in an improper place, I show, by quoting from the proclamations of the local magistrate, that they had not interfered with the feng shui, and that this charge against them is an afterthought. And I express the hope that in both countries these difficulties are temporary. * * *[Page 164]
It will be seen from the perusal of the communication of the yamên that it is couched in phraseology which is very non-committal. There is no distinct intimation that damages will be paid. * * *
For the present the yamên has declined to issue passports to foreigners to visit Chungking, on the plea that it would be dangerous. I have not acquiesced in this determination so far as commercial travelers are concerned, but am insisting that passports be issued.
I have, etc.,