Lord Pauncefote to Mr. Hay.

Dear Mr. Hay: I inclose a copy of a telegram received yesterday from Lord Salisbury recording the statement of the policy of Her Majesty’s Government in China made in the House of Commons on the 2d.

Mr. Choate has probably already informed you of the substance of it by cable, but I thought you might like to receive this full text of it from a more certain source than the press.

I am, etc.,

[Page 352]

The following statement of policy in China was made on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government in the House of Commons on August 2: Great Britain will, in concert with other powers, press forward by every means the relief of the legations at Pekin, and regards it as imperative to impress upon China the sanctity of envoys and the power of Europe to protect or avenge them. As regards the Yangtse district and the adjacent region, assurances have been given to the viceroys that the ships and forces of Great Britain will cooperate as far as possible with them in quieting unrest and securing order; and provision is being made for the due fulfillment of this assurance. Her Majesty’s Government are opposed to any partition of China, and believe that they are in accord with other powers in this declaration. Her Majesty’s Government hold that the future government of China, whether directed from Pekin or decentralized, must be a government by the Chinese, and they are not prepared to substitute for this a European administration. Similarly they hold that in common interest much caution should be observed in any scheme which may be entertained for organizing Chinese troops under foreign officers. Compensation must be made by China for the effects of the existing disturbances.