The Imperial German Chargé d’Affaires to the Secretary of State.


Mr. Secretary: By direction of the Imperial Chancellor I have the honor to respectfully communicate to your excellency the following:

The Government of His Majesty the Emperor considers as a preliminary [Page 24] condition for entering into diplomatic negotiations with the Chinese Government a surrender of such persons as are determined upon as being the first and real perpetrators of the crimes committed in Pekin against international law. The number of perpetrators who served as tools is too great; a wholesale execution would be averse to the civilized conscience. Furthermore, circumstances would not allow that even the group of leaders could be completely ascertained; but the few among them whose guilt is notorious should be surrendered and punished. The representatives of the powers in Pekin will be in a position to make or adduce in this investigation fully valid testimony. The number of those punished is of less importance than their character as principal instigators and leaders. The Government of His Majesty the Emperor believes that it can depend in this matter upon the concurrence of all the cabinets; for, indifference toward the idea of a just expiation would be equivalent to indifference toward a repetition of the crime.

The Government of His Majesty the Emperor therefore proposes to the interested cabinets that they request their representatives in Pekin to designate the principal Chinese personages whose guilt in the instigation or execution of the crimes is beyond a doubt.

A similar communication is forwarded to the other interested cabinets.

Requesting of your excellency a reply as soon as is practicable, I embrace this occasion to tender the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.