Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.
Peking, China , November 30, 1900 .
Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy of two communications which I addressed to the peace commissioners on the 19th and 27th of November, respectively. Identic notes were also sent by my colleagues.[Page 52]
The first was sent because it was considered by the diplomatic body that in view of the active part taken by Tung Fu-hsiang in the attempt to massacre all foreigners in north China, and the bad influence he was exerting through his military power, it was no place for him to be near the court.
The second refers to honors conferred on Li Ping-heng and his son and grandson, as will be seen by the two decrees inclosed herewith. Li Ping-heng has always been notorious for his hatred of foreigners and everything foreign. He was governor of Shantung in 1897, when the murder of the two German missionaries occurred, which led to the seizure by Germany of the port of Kiao-chao. He was degraded two steps, and transferred to another post. This sentence, by the wording of the decree, could not be commuted in any way. During the siege he arrived in Peking, and was largely instrumental in bringing about the death of the six Chinese ministers who were favorable to foreigners, and who were decapitated by Imperial decree. His antiforeign spirit was so marked and his sympathy with the Boxer movement so intense that the diplomatic corps regarded the action of the court in conferring upon him and his relations marks of Imperial favor calculated to mislead public opinion, and they thereupon entered a protest by identic note, as will be seen by inclosure No. 2.
I have, etc.,