Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.
Peking, China, September 16, 1900.
Sir: A whole month has elapsed since the arrival of the “relief expedition” and the flight of the imperial court, and apparently no progress has been made toward reestablishment of Chinese authority here or negotiations for a settlement.
Prince Ching is still waiting the arrival of Li Hung-chang. Most of the foreign ministers are without instructions. At a meeting of the diplomatic corps yesterday it was suggested that if the Emperor and Empress Dowager could be induced to return to Peking negotiations might be greatly facilitated. All agreed that if they could be withdrawn from the influence of Prince Tuan and other pernicious advisers it would be better. Much time could also be saved, because if acts of Prince Ching and Li Hung-chang must be presented to the Throne for approval, it would take weeks to get them to Sianfu and returned.
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It was agreed that each would write an informal note to Prince Ching suggesting the return of the Emperor and Empress Dowager, the Court, or the Emperor, as he pleased. I preferred to mention only the “Emperor,” and have written Prince Ching accordingly, inclosing a copy herewith of the note sent him.
I have, etc.,