The French chargé d’affaires to the Secretary of State.

[Translation.]

Mr. Secretary of State: By order of my Government, I have the honor to bring to your excellency’s knowledge the following communication:

In sending their forces to China, the powers had as their first object the rescue of their legations. Thanks to the united action and the valor of their troops, this end has been attained. The thing now to be done is to obtain from the Chinese Government, which has given to Prince Ching and Li Hung Chang full powers to negotiate and treat in its name, appropriate reparation for the past and substantial guaranties for the future.

Animated by the spirit which has inspired the declarations heretofore made by the several Governments, the Government of the Republic believes that it sums up their own sentiments in the following points, which it submits as bases of the negotiations to be entered upon immediately after the usual verification of the full powers:

  • First. The punishment of the principal guilty parties who may be designated by the representatives of the powers at Pekin.
  • Second. The continuance of the interdiction against the importation of arms.
  • Third. Equitable indemnities for the Governments, corporations, and private individuals.
  • Fourth. The organization in Pekin of a permanent guard for the legations.
  • Fifth. The dismantling of the forts at Taku.
  • Sixth. The military occupation of two or three points on the road from Tientsin to Pekin, which road will thus always be open to the legations to pass to the sea or to the forces which may go from the sea to the capital.

If presented collectively by the representatives of the powers and backed up by the presence of the international troops, it seems to the [Page 322] Government of the Republic impossible that these conditions, so legitimate in themselves, should not speedily be accepted by the Chinese Government.

Be pleased to accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Thiébaut.