Mr. Thiébaut to Mr. Adee.


Mr. Secretary of State: You were pleased to communicate to me [copy of the] answer, under date of August 22, by the Government of the United States to the telegrams of the 19th and 21st of August1 by [Page 321] which the viceroy, Li Hung Chang, proposed the immediate cessation of hostilities and the designation of an American plenipotentiary to negotiate with him. I have the honor to inform you that His Excellency Mr. Delcassé has, for his part, been informed by the minister of China at Paris of analogous propositions to which he has returned, through the consul-general of France at Shanghai, the following response:

“The Government of the Republic appreciates the sentiment which has inspired these overtures of the viceroy, Li Hung Chang; however, the Chinese Government now finds itself in a situation whose uncertainty would for the time being render difficult the verification of the full powers of the viceroy; on the other part the Government of the Republic could not lend itself to negotiations so long as its communications with the minister of France in China shall not have been completely and regularly reestablished.”

I embrace this occasion to renew to you, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my highest consideration.

  1. Printed p. 290.