Mr. Conger to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram—Partly paraphrased.]

(Mr. Conger reports that the following has been submitted by Prince Ching and Earl Li as a general preliminary treaty, together with request for a meeting with the foreign ministers:)

  • Article 1. Laying siege to legations of the foreign ministers is a high offense against one of the important principles of international law. No country can possibly tolerate such a thing. China acknowledges her great mistake in this respect and promises that it will never occur again.
  • Art. 2. China admits her liability to pay indemnity for the various losses sustained on this occasion, and the Powers will each appoint officials to examine and present the above-mentioned claims for final consultation and settlement.
  • Art. 3. As to future trade and general international relations, each Power should designate how these matters should be dealt with, whether the old treaties shall continue or new conventions be made slightly adding to the old treaties and negotiating new ones. Any of these plans may be adopted, and when China has approved, further special regulations can be made in each case as required.
  • Art. 4. This convention will be made by China with the combined Powers to cover general principles which apply alike to all. This settled, the foreign ministers there should remove the seals they caused to be placed in various parts of the tsungli yamen. Then the yamen ministers may go to the yamen and attend to business as usual. And, further, each Power should arrange its own special affairs with China so that separate treaties may be settled in due order when the various items of indemnity are all arranged properly, or an understanding has been come to about them. Then the Powers will successively withdraw their troops.
  • Art. 5. The troops sent to China by the Powers were for protection of the ministers and for no other purpose; so when negotiations begin for treaties of peace, each Power should declare an armistice.

(Mr. Conger has merely acknowledged above, and awaits further instructions before replying; he states that the general negotiations should cover as many points as possible. The general treaty should [Page 214] include, in addition to the above draft, (1) a complete statement of the purpose in landing troops in China; (2) the restoration of order and return of the Imperial Government or proof of its potential existence; (3) acknowledgment by the Imperial Government of liability for attacks on all foreigners, as well as ministers; (4) indemnity for expenses and wrongs, as well as losses, some general plan for measuring and paying same, and effective guaranties for the future; (5) provision for a defensible legation settlement and legation and railroad guards; (6) the substitution of a minister for foreign affairs instead of the Tsungli Yamen; (7) Chinese capital to be a treaty port; (8) adequate punishment of leaders and abettors of crimes against legations and foreigners.)