Mr. Buck to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram—Partly paraphrased.]

(Mr. Buck reports that on the night of the 24th instant, in response to Department’s telegram1 communicated to the minister for foreign affairs, he submits, respecting the Russian proposal, the following:)

The Imperial Government has not given order to their representatives in Pekin to remove to Tientsin, as, according to news lately received from Pekin, Prince Ching had already entered into communication with the representatives of the powers and Li Hung Chang is already on his way to Pekin to join the prince.
The full powers of the Chinese plenipotentiaries must be examined by the plenipotentiaries of the powers at the opening of the negotiations. The Imperial Government therefore considers that in order to conclude whether their full powers are satisfactory they will have to await the result of such examination.
In the opinion of the Imperial Government the third question depends upon the result of the above-mentioned examination, and will naturally be disposed of when the preceding questions shall have been settled.

Reply already telegraphed regarding German proposition.

Respecting the reply made to the Chinese minister to Japan, in response to the telegram from Prince Ching, the minister of foreign affairs, after referring to the fact of others in addition to Prince Ching and Li Hung Chang having also been appointed plenipotentiaries conjointly to negotiate peace, says:

In the telegram of Prince Ching, which is transcribed in your note under acknowledgement, nothing is stated in reference to the plenipotentiary authority conferred upon those four gentlemen. If, therefore, Earl Li and the three other gentlemen have been appointed plenipotentiaries, I trust that your excellency will be good enough to make further communication to me when all the plenipotentiaries find themselves in a position conjointly to enter into negotiations.

  1. Printed, p. 305.