Mr. Yang Yü to Mr. Olney.
Washington, July 8, 1896.
Sir: I have the honor to state that I am in receipt of a note from the Tsung-li Yamên in Peking to the effect that the United States commission, consisting of Consul Read, of Tientsin, and others, appointed to investigate the claims of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Szechuan, brought their labors to a satisfactory conclusion on the 13th day of the tenth moon last (November 29, 1895), as a result of which the amount of the claims was agreed upon at 30,325 taels, of which 10,325 taels were to be paid in Chengtu and the remainder, 20,000 taels, in Chungking, The full amount of the above indemnity has been paid in two installments, as above indicated, to a Mr. Keh Ah Lin (Collins?), a missionary-who signed on behalf of the mission a statement, in triplicate, in English and Chinese, in evidence of the satisfactory adjustment of their claim against the Chinese Government.
The United States commission, after the completion of its work in Szechuan, returned in due course to Peking. It may be remarked here that the amount paid by the Imperial Government is a considerable one, and that, as Consul Read is said to have affirmed, after his return to North China, to foreign residents there, the commission was treated with special consideration and courtesy by the Szechuan authorities.[Page 55]
There is now a claim presented by another missionary society (called the Chin-Li Hui) pending settlement. The United States minister, Mr. Denby, with the consent of the Imperial Government, has instructed the United States consul-general at Shanghai to investigate and report upon it, so that it may be adjusted in a like satisfactory manner. I am directed to communicate to you, for the information of your Government, the above facts, together with a copy of a specification received from the viceroy of Szechuan of the claims of the Methodist Episcopal Mission now already paid by the Imperial Government. The action of my Government in this matter would go to prove that there is no prejudicial discrimination against missionaries or their converts, but that they have been dealt with in a most liberal manner, a fact indicative of the constantly increasing friendliness between the Governments of the two countries concerned. It is my pleasurable duty to transmit the above to you for your information, and I trust that I may be favored with a reply.