Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay.

No. 22.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a translation of a telegram received from Chang Chih-tung, viceroy at Wu-chang, relating to the execution of the provincial treasurer of Chih-li and other officials at Pao-ting Fu, together with my reply sent him through our consul at Hankou.

The opinion of the viceroy that these punishments should have been inflicted by the Chinese authorities agrees, I believe, with the views of the Department as shown by the Department’s note of September 21 to the German chargé d’affaires in Washington.

I am, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Viceroy Chang Chih-tung to Mr. Rockhill.

Sir: I have learned that the allied forces at Paoting Fu killed the provincial treasurer of Chihli, Ting Yung, and others, in all six men. I have also learned that the foreign soldiers have gone to various districts, imprisoned and killed various magistrates. Although the reports in the foreign press say that the treasurer, Ting, had connived at and tolerated the “Boxers,” nevertheless since August he certainly repented of his past deeds and dispatched soldiers to exterminate the “Boxer” bandits. Further, when the foreign soldiers went to Paoting Fu and the various districts, the treasurer did not lead his troops against the foreign soldiers, but went outside of the city to receive them and presented them with oxen and wine. It may be said that he certainly treated them kindly. Nothing was said beforehand that it was the purpose of the foreign forces to kill the treasurer, and, further, no explanation was made as to the crime he committed and a request made to China to deal with him herself. This can only cause foreigners to be treated with contempt, and still further give rise to a feeling of hatred in the future. It will be difficult for the Chinese officials to open their mouths in having any control in arranging peace, and they will be very much harassed. The Government of the United States is known to be equitable, sincere, and to do what is right, and desires China to exercise complete sovereign rights. This question was brought to the attention of the foreign powers by the United States, and it was agreed that China should herself deal with the leaders in this calamity. The action taken at Paoting Fu is at variance with the views of the United States, and this, I believe, the United States will agree to. The matter, however, is finished, and it is not necessary to thoroughly discuss it. What we are anxious about is that the foreign soldiers are still moving about in many directions, and it is not known what may happen. I ask you to consult with Mr. Conger and request the United States Government to use its best endeavors with the foreign powers to prevent them from again using their military power, so that the minds of the people may be set at rest and avoid further complications; that help may be offered to accomplish a settlement of terms of peace, and then enable China to get out of the difficulty. The people will then not harbor any feeling of resentment. A speedy settlement will enable the merchants and farmers to resume their respective avocations. I can not express how I hope for the accomplishment of this. I beg the favor of a telegraphic reply.

Chang Chih-tung.