Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay .

No. 171.]

Sir: Consul-General Goodnow has undoubtedly kept the Department fully advised concerning the efforts made at Shanghai to extend the foreign settlement, but I have the honor to add that a few days since Mr. Pichon, the French minister, filed a protest with the tsungli yamen against such extension, on the ground that in 1896 the diplomatic corps had unanimously agreed to the extension of both the French and the so-called Anglo-American settlement, and the dean, Colonel Denby, made formal request of the tsungli yamen for both extensions, but that now the general foreign settlement was including in their demand a part of the land conceded to the French in 1896. This, however, is an error, and upon explaining to him that, although the taotai offered such land to the general foreign settlement, it was not asked for and was not wanted he said he had no objection to the extension.

He, however, expressed the opinion that Great Britain and the United States ought to withdraw their opposition to the extension of the French settlement.

For my part, I can see no good reason for this objection to the extension of the French settlement. The tract is a small one, it immediately adjoins their settlement, and is not desired in the general settlement. It is true it includes some British and American owned property, but the French minister promises that it may be excepted from their exclusive jurisdiction; and it seems to me they will be much better off in a French settlement than outside of any.

The British opposition to the extension of the French settlement comes principally from London, and is evidently directed against any increase of French power or holdings in the Yangtze Valley.

This extension, however, simply gives them a little more territory, but can add practically nothing to their power or influence.

The Chinese Government is opposed to granting any extension, and is of course delighted with any foreign disagreement which will obstruct or prevent it.

However, the necessity for the extension of the general settlement is so pressing that I have agreed with my British and German colleagues to each send a note to the tsungli yamen urgently requesting an adjustment of the matter as proposed by the several consuls-general.

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I believe that the Japanese minister will also send a like note.

I inclose a copy of mine which was sent to the tsungli yamen yesterday.

I have, etc.,

E. H. Conger.
[Inclosure.]

Mr. Conger to the tsungli yamen .

In reference to the negotiations which have for so long a time been going on at Shanghai for the extension of the general foreign settlement at that port, and which have been at several times so nearly completed, the undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, is now informed by the United States consul-general that the matter seems at present at a standstill, because the Taotai desires to include in the extension certain tracts of land in the Pa Hsien Joa, which have not been asked for and which are not desired.

The rapidly increasing population of Shanghai, the enormous growth of its business, and the consequent requirements of sanitation, police regulations, and economic administration make this extension an absolute necessity.

Its necessity is a legitimate development and outgrowth of the conditions which, under the treaties and the provisions of the existing concessions, agreed to by the Chinese Government, make it the reasonable and humane duty of the Chinese Government to grant the extension, as well as the duty of the foreign representatives to demand it.

The Chinese Government has permitted the growth of this settlement to its present proportions, has agreed to the investing of immense capital in and about it, is thus responsible for the permanent location there of thousands of foreigners, and, having done this, it should not now restrict them to conditions which threaten them with disease and death.

The request is a reasonable and legitimate one, is approved by the representatives of all the treaty powers interested, and health and humanity imperatively demand it. The interest of the undersigned, not only in the welfare of his own nationals, but in the general good of all the inhabitants of the present settlement, the proposed extension and its environs, compels him to join his colleagues in a most urgent and earnest request that your highness and your excellencies will forthwith instruct the viceroy at Nankin to order the Shanghai taotai to immediately meet the consuls-general in a fair and reasonable spirit, and settle the matter in accordance with the just terms which they propose.

The undersigned avails, etc.,

E. H. Conger.