Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay.

No. 145.]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s No. 71,a of January 29 last, relative to the note of the Chinese minister at Washington, dated January 20, 1902, I beg leave now to inclose to you herewith a copy of a note from the minister for foreign affairs replying to my note of February 14, and stating that while the Government of the King does not see, on principle, any difficulty in complying with the requesting of Yuan Shih-kai, it withholds its definite reply until it can act in accord with the other powers to which China may have made a similar request.

I am, etc.,

G. V. L. Meyer.

Mr. Prinetti to Mr. Meyer.

Mr. Ambassador: Replying to the note which your excellency addressed to me on the 14th instant, I have the honor to inform you that the Chinese minister to the royal court also called upon me a few days ago expressing the wish of the viceroy of Chihli, Yuan Shih-kai, that the temporary government established at Tientsin by the powers be discontinued and that the regular administration of the city be returned to the Chinese authorities.

The Government of the King does not see, on principle, any objection to complying with the request of Yuan Shih-kai; it has, however, withheld its definite answer to the Chinese minister in order that it may be possible to act jointly with the powers near which China may have taken similar steps, and whose views I have already taken pains to ask.

Pray accept, etc.,

  1. See No. 976 to France, printed, p. 185.