The Acting Secretary of State to the Russian Chargé d’affaires.

Sir: I had the honor to receive in due course your note of the 4th–17th instant, acquainting me with a communication you had just received from the Imperial Government, informing you of “the resolution of the admirals of the allied fleets interdicting the plenipotentiary of the Chinese Government, Li Hung Chang, from all communication with the Chinese authorities in the event of his arrival at Taku.” You add that—

This resolution being inexplicable, in view of the fact that all the powers have recognized the utility of admitting his (Li Hung-chang’s) services in the eventual negotiations for peace, and especially because it would be impossible for him to fulfill his mission in the character of Chinese plenipotentiary if this were done, it would be desirable that the interested Governments should give orders to countermand the above-mentioned decision.

No instructions in this regard having been sent to Admiral Remey, and no advices having been received from him on the subject, I caused inquiry to be made, and as the result thereof I now learn that no action has been taken in the conference of the admirals to interdict Li Hung-chang from communicating with the Chinese authorities from Taku. Such action was considered informally, but was not adopted. It was not favored by the American admiral.

Be pleased to accept, Mr. Chargé d’Affaires, the renewed assurance of my high consideration.

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.