Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 408.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm, on the overleaf, my telegrams of the 4th and 6th instants,1 and to say that Prince Ching called on me on the 6th and I returned his call to-day.

He looks badly and appears greatly worried. Says he is ashamed of his Government, but was himself powerless to prevent what has happened. It was understood that the visits were only friendly visits, and so no discussion of business was had. He said he was awaiting the arrival [Page 33] of Li Hung-chang, who with him had been appointed plenipotentaries together to settle affairs.

I inclose copy of communication from him, and reply by the dean of the diplomatic corps concerning their appointment.

As suggested in my telegram, it seems to me that, leaving Peking under military occupation, negotiations could be more speedily and satisfactorily conducted at Shanghai, or, better still, at Washington. The question is so large and so many of the great powers vitally interested therein that constant and quick communication between all is necessary. This can not be accomplished from here. The telegraph line is at present totally inadequate and is not likely to be sufficiently improved in the near future.

I have, etc.,

E. H. Conger.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

President of the Tsungli Yamen to Mr. de Cologan.

The grand council has communicated to me the imperial decree of the 3d of the 8th moon of Kuang Hsu: (August 27, 1900).

“We order Prince Ching to return immediately to the capital to treat of affairs with full powers. It is unnecessary for him to come to rejoin the court. As for the plenipotentiary, Li Hung-chang, he has now likewise received the order by decree to come promptly to Peking and discuss and treat regarding affairs in concert with Prince Ching.” Respectfully received.

It is necessary that I address your excellency by this dispatch a respectful copy of this imperial order, and I pray you to transmit in turn the communication to the representatives of the powers.

I profit by the occasion to inform you that the seal with which I have sealed this dispatch is the seal of the Yellow Bordered Manchu Banner, of which I am commander in chief.


Reply to Prince Ching.

I have the honor to receive the note which your highness addressed to me on the 6th of this month, communicating to me that your highness had been named by imperial decree with full powers to treat of affairs, and that orders had been given to the plenipotentiary, Li Hung-chang, to come promptly to the capital to treat of affairs in concert with your highness. I have transmitted to my honorable colleagues the information contained in the note, of which I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt.

I beg you to accept, etc.,

M. de Cologan.
  1. Where telegrams are referred to they will be found under the proper date in the telegraphic correspondence, pp.——.