Mr. Hay to Mr. Thiébaut.

No. 331.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of yesterday’s date, in which you present more fully the considerations you expressed to me in the course of our conversation yesterday afternoon respecting the policy of the powers in the treatment of the existing crisis in China and the steps to be taken by them to insure the safety of their national representatives and citizens in Pekin and throughout the Empire, to maintain the territorial status quo, and, through substantial guaranties, to prevent a recurrence of the recent deplorable events—concluding by communicating M. Delcassé’s view that foreigners in Pekin should not act separately but under a united direction, and that to this end an understanding of the powers with a view to sending identical instructions to the commanders of their respective forces in Petchili, and requesting them to state the full amount of the forces requisite for the fulfillment of their mission, appears to be urgent.

My conversation with you will have enabled you to see that the policy and attitude of this Government, as already determined by the President, are substantially in the line of the views entertained by the Government of the French Republic. Following the precedents enunciated by the United States as early as 1857, this Government aims at the conservation of peace and amity with the Chinese nation, the furtherance of lawful commerce, and the protection of the lives and interests of American citizens in every part of China by all the means guaranteed under extraterritorial treaty rights and by the law of nations, to which ends we are prepared to uphold the efforts of the Chinese authorities in the provinces to use their powers to protect foreign life and property against the attacks of subversive anarchy, and are resolved to hold to the uttermost accountability the responsible authors of any [Page 319] wrong done to our citizens. To attain these objects the Government of the United States is now, as heretofore, ready to act concurrently with the other powers in opening up communication with Pekin and rescuing the imperiled Americans and foreigners there, to afford all possible protection everywhere in China to American life and property, to guard all legitimate American interests in the Empire, and to aid in preventing a spread of the disorders to other provinces, and in securing future immunity from a recurrence of such disasters—seeking to these ends a solution which may bring about permanent peace and safety to China, preserve Chinese territorial and administrative entity, protect all rights guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty, and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade with all parts of the Chinese Empire.

I am communicating these views to all the governments represented diplomatically at Pekin, substantially as herein outlined; and it gives me much pleasure to advise you of their purport, in view of their virtual accord with the policy independently formulated by the Government of the French Republic.

Meanwhile, to the end of reaching the common understanding which M. Delcassé advocates, instructions have been telegraphed to the commander of the United States naval forces in Chinese waters to confer with his colleagues and report as to the force necessary to accomplish the ends now purposed and the proportionate force to be appropriately employed by the United States for their attainment in the general interest of the powers concerned.

Accept, sir, etc.,

John Hay.