Mr. Write to Mr. Hay.

No. 1866.]

Sir: Referring to you instructiona (No. 1287) of the 29th ultimo, regarding the evacuation of Tientsin, I have the honor to report that I called yesterday upon Baron von Richthofen, imperial secretary of state for foreign affairs, and stated your views to him, laying especial [Page 188] stress upon the necessity of a speedy relinquishment of the Tientsin territory in the interest not only of China, but of the powers for whom indemnity must be provided. Baron von Richthofen acknowledged the justice of your view, stating that the German Government acquiesces wholly in the policy you present, appreciates fully the arguments on which your view is based, and would be glad to see Tientsin relinquished immediately, but for the one thing which stands in the way, namely, the Chinese delay in improving the channel of the Peiho.

At this I reminded him of the Chinese contention that the presence and authority of the viceroy is needed in Tientsin for this very purpose. To this he answered that no doubt the viceroy’s presence is desirable, and that the German Government is entirely ready to take her full share in the withdrawal of foreign troops just as soon as proper guaranties for the completion of the Peiho improvement shall be given.

At this I inquired what sort of guaranties are needed to meet the views of the Imperial Government. He anwered:

Anything that will insure the completion of the work, and probably the only guaranty which will be effective will be a pecuniary one.

At this I inquired whether he had reason to expect that the Chinese Government would be able and willing to give such a guaranty and in such shape that it would prove effective. To this he answerea that he believed it could be arranged and speedily; that he saw no serious difficulty in the matter. He then went on to say that, to my note to him of February 12 on the subject, he had already prepared an answer, which I would undoubtedly receive within a few days.

I am, etc.,

And. D. White.
  1. See No. 976 to France, printed page 185.