Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.


(Mr. Hay states that the Imperial edict of September 25 has been communicated by the Chinese minister, whereby Prince Chuang, Prince Yih, Secondary Princes Tsai Lien and Tsai Ying are deprived of all [Page 211] their respective ranks and offices; Prince Tuan is deprived of office and is handed over to the Imperial clan court, which shall consult and decide upon a severe penalty, and his salary is to be stopped. Duke Tsai Lan and the president of the censorate, Ying Men, are handed over to said board, who shall consult and decide upon a severe penalty, and Kang Yi, assistant grand secretary and president of the civil board, and Chao Shu Chiao, president of the board of punishments, are handed over to the board of censors, who shall consult and decide upon a penalty.

This edict, if it embraces all the high responsible officials to whom are imputable the crimes and wrongs against foreign legations, and if it leads to condign punishment which shall for the future safeguard our citizens and prevent a recurrence of the disasters from which we and other powers have suffered, may be regarded as a notable step in the direction of peace and order in China.

Mr. Conger is directed to report immediately, first, if the principal responsible authors are correctly and satisfactorily enumerated in the list given in the edict; secondly, if the punishments proposed accord with the gravity of the crimes committed, and, third, in what manner assurance that these punishments are carried out is to be given to the powers.

Before answering these inquiries Mr. Conger will confer with his colleagues.)