Mr. Denby to Mr. Day.

No. 2949.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that in accordance with an imperial decree important changes have recently been made in the Government.

[Page 218]

Wang Tung-ho, a grand councilor, and a member of the Tsungli Yamên, has been degraded and directed to return to his home in the south. It is said that he was impeached by no less than twenty four censors, and that the Emperor was thus lenient owing to his having been his tutor. He has not for some time worked in accord with the other ministers, especially Li Hung chang. This change will very much strengthen the latter’s position, as Wang Tung-ho has always been his most bitter enemy, having recommended during the Japanese war that he be recalled and beheaded.

Wang Wen-shao, viceroy of the province of Chihli, has been appointed to this vacancy. He was at one time a cabinet minister, but fell into disgrace and was sent south as governor. After the Japanese war he was appointed viceroy to succeed Li Hung Chang. He was a special favorite of the late Prince Kung, who always desired his return to the cabinet. He is neither anti nor pro foreign, and has never taken any interest in foreign affairs.

The other change is the appoinment of Jung Lu, a member of the Tsungli Yâmên, as acting viceroy of the province of Chihli, to succeed Wang Wen-shao. No one has as yet been named to fill this vacancy.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.