Mr. Porter to Mr. Hay.

No. 680.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your cable of the 22d acquainting me with your conversation with the Chinese minister at Washington and instructing me to convey its substance to the minister of foreign affairs. This was done on the 23d and under date of the 25th I received a reply from Mr. Delcassé, * * * a copy of which is herewith inclosed.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

Horace Porter.
[Page 312]

M. Delcassé to Mr. Porter.

Mr. Ambassador: By a note dated the 23d of this month your excellency was good enough to make known to me, by direction of your Government, the substance of the declaration which the Chinese minister at Washington had recently addressed to the Secretary of State of the Union relative to the measures taken for the security of Europeans in the valley of the Yang-tse Kiang River. The Chinese representative expressed on this occasion the hope that the Government of the United States would consent to counsel the other powers to abstain from sending ships or military forces into this region.

In reply to this communication, for which I thank you, I can only, at this time, make mention of the resolution taken by the Government of the Republic to allow the greatest latitude to the commanders of the forces in the Far East to judge on the suitability or the necessity of sending ships of war to one part or another of the coast of China. A decision in regard to this matter would require a quantity of local information which seems to us impossible to weigh properly at such a distance. * * *