Memorandum touching the Imperial edict of August 8 appointing Li Hung Chang envoy plenipotentiary to conduct negotiations on the part of China with the powers, and the request for a cessation of hostilities, pending negotiations, communicated to Mr. Adee by Mr. Wu on the 12th of August, 1900.

[Delivered to the Chinese minister, Mr. Wu Ting-fang, August 12, 1900, 4.30 p.m.]

The Government of the United States learns with satisfaction of the appointment of Earl Li Hung Chang as envoy plenipotentiary to conduct negotiations with the powers, and will, on its part, enter upon such negotiations with a desire to continue the friendly relations so long existing between the two countries.

It is evident that there can be no general negotiation between China and the powers so long as the ministers of the powers and the persons under their protection remain in their present position of restraint and danger, and that the powers can not cease their efforts for the delivery of these representatives, to which they are constrained by the highest considerations of national honor, except under an arrangement adequate to accomplish a peaceable deliverance.

We are ready to enter into an agreement between the powers and the Chinese Government for a cessation of hostile demonstrations on condition that a sufficient body of the forces composing the relief expedition shall be permitted to enter Pekin unmolested and to escort the foreign ministers and residents back to Tientsin, this movement being provided for and secured by such arrangements and dispositions of troops as shall be considered satisfactory by the generals commanding the forces composing the relief expedition.

Note.—The foregoing reply to the communication of Minister Wu was telegraphed in full on the evening of August 12 to the representatives of the United States accredited to the several Governments cooperating for the relief of the besieged legations in Pekin, with instructions to communicate it to the respective Governments.