Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1013.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy of conditions which have been substantially agreed upon by the generals and ministers of the seven [Page 191] powers who are represented on the provisional government of Tientsin, or have troops in the garrisons in that city, and upon the acceptance of which by the Chinese Government they are willing to restore the city.

Two of the ministers represented have informed me that these conditions will soon be laid before the full diplomatic corps for approval, after which they will be presented to the Chinese Government for acceptance and execution.

In order simply to restore the city to the Chinese the powers represented in its present government may do this without reference to the other powers, but they have no right to exact or make conditions which have an international or political significance or which go beyond or in any way contravene the provisions of the final protocol.

By article 12 of the protocol the powers distinctly agreed that, with the exception of the legation guards, all international troops would completely evacuate the entire province of Chihli, except the places mentioned in article 9. And now they propose to add a new condition, that the evacuation will not take place unless the Chinese will agree to bring no troops, except a police guard of 2,500 in Tientsin, anywhere within a radius of 30 kilometers of the city, but that foreign troops may go and come at will within the said zone. This would certainly be humiliating to the Chinese and a constant source of danger to all foreigners within the outer portion of this circle.

No such provision is made for Peking, and certainly if it is safe to permit Chinese soldiers to approach at will right up to the gates and within the walls of this city, 100 miles from the coast, it ought to be quite as safe in Tientsin, only 30 miles therefrom.

The proposition, in my judgment, is inconsistent with the promises of the protocol, is grossly unfair to the Chinese, and I shall not support it unless so instructed. There are other objectionable conditions in the proposals, but I only name this one.

I have, etc.,

E. H. Conger.

Proposition for the restoration of the government of Tientsin, etc., drawn up at the conference of the commandants of the troops in Chihli province, held at Tientsin on April 12, 1902.

Present: First Major-General von Rohrecheidt, Germany; First Naval Captain Kirchmayr, Austria; General Sucillon, France; Major-General Creagh, Great Britain; Lieutenant-Colonel Salsa, Italy; Colonel Akiyama, Japan; Major-General de Wogack, Russia.

All the commandants were of the opinion that the situation of the contingents at Tientsin will be difficult without the provisional government, but if, for political reasons, the diplomatic corps considers that the restoration of the Tientsin government is necessary, the commandants believe that restoration can not take place except under the following conditions:

1. The Tientsin government shall be maintained until the destruction of the forts mentioned in the list established by the provisions of the conference of the generals in chief of April 6, 1902, be completed.

It being understood that the destruction of the forts will be completed June 25, the restoration will take place, in principle, July 1, with the understanding that should it be found necessary the date will be extended to four weeks after the acceptance of the proposition of the allies by the Chinese Government.

2. The Chinese Government will guarantee that the forts will not be rebuilt and that other forts will not be built within a zone of 30 kilometers on either side of the Peking-Ting-Kou-Shan-Hai-Kwan Railway; in this zone there shall be prohibited the construction of places for batteries or subterranean mines.

[Page 192]

3. The city of Tientsin must not be fortified; its ramparts shall not be rebuilt by the Chinese.

4. As long as the foreign troops shall occupy Tientsin there can be no Chinese military garrison in the localities situated in the present district of the city.

5. The police force for the maintenance of order of the Chinese Government shall be 2,500 men in the city of Tientsin and for the present territory of the district of the provisional government; for the personal guard of the viceroy of Chihli there shall be 300 men.

6. The Chinese garrisons which are at present within less than 30 kilometers of the Peking-Tongku-Shan-Hai-Kwan Railway will not be increased under any circumstances. The Chinese Government will make known the locations and the numbers of these garrisons on the 1st of April.

7. The restoration of the Peking-Shan-Hai-Kwan Railway to the Chinese will not take place until after an understanding with the council of thecommandants of the allied forces.

8. The Chinese troops will not be permitted to approach nearer than 30 kilometers of the city of Tientsin.

9. The foreign troops will be permitted to freely pass through the cities which they occupy, and to maneuver, exercise at target practice and campaign service in the vicinity—that is to say, within a limit of 30 kilometers—without notifying the Chinese authorities, except in cases of long-range practice, when notice shall be given. Moreover, the military, as well as persons belonging to the contingents, will have the right to freely go and come in the limits indicated.

10. An international guard shall be established in the Chinese city of Tientsin, and in all places where there shall be foreign troops, for the surveillance of foreign soldiers.

11. In the case where a Chinese employed by the contingents shall commit an offense of whatever nature the guilty shall be punished by his commandant officer, or delivered to the Chinese authorities to be judged, according as his commandant officer may consider proper. The Chinese employed by the foreign contingents shall be provided with a card of identification written in Chinese.

12. The Chinese Government must guarantee the freedom and protection of all Chinese which are or have been employed in the service of the foreign contingent or of the provisional government, and in case where arrests of such employees are made they must be delivered up to the foreign military authorities, if such be demanded.

13. The foreign troops and their provisions, clothing, and alimentary merchandise shall be exempt from all imposts and taxes.

14. The foreign troops will have the right to purchase provisions in the markets and to buy on the ground everything which they may need. The Chinese Government must impose neither boycott nor restrictions of any kind on sales made to foreigners.

15. The foreign troops will reserve the right to occupy their present quarters belonging to the Government as long as there shall exist a foreign garrison in North China.

16. The troops will be free to occupy summer country quarters at Pei Ta Ho and on the hills west of Peking, according as they may consider necessary.

17. The Chinese must not place torpedos or establish submarine mines or other maritime defenses at Taku, Chin Wang Tao, and Shan Hai Kwan.

18. The foreign military authorities will have the right to communicate directly with the local Chinese authorities, and, in the particular case of the city of Tientsin, the commandants of the allied troops will communicate directly with the viceroy.

19. The Chinese authorities must give every facility to a commission delegated by the commandants of the allied forces to assure the execution of the above stipulations.

20. The authority of the minutes of the council of the provisional government of Tientsin shall be maintained, so that all the acts of the council may be thoroughly known and that force and effect may be given to them by the Chinese Government.

To assure this it will be necessary that the Chinese authorities be requested to publish a proclamation that since it assumes the control of that district the continuation of the Government is assured, and that all the preceding acts are valid, as if they had been made in the name of the Imperial Chinese authorities themselves.

It will be necessary that the archives of the council be placed in secure hands, and the following plan must be adopted:

That the minutes of the meetings of the council be translated into Chinese and French (the French text being legally recognized), that they be printed, and that certified copies be delivered to all the members of the diplomatic corps at Peking and to all the commandants of the different allied contingents.

The original minutes should be placed in the hands of the senior military commandant to be transmitted to the dean of the consular body after all the contingents [Page 193] are reduced to a permanent state. One of the conditions of the restoration of the provisional government should be that each person having any interest whatever in these minutes can consult them through the medium of his consul, and that the rights to which these minutes may pretend be recognized by the Chinese authorities if these rights should be proven valid by the minutes.

As all the acts of the different departments and district powers of the government finally depend (in that which concerns their authority) upon the decisions of the council as related in the minutes, it would be well if all the accounts of the departments and districts should become a part of the archives of the council, and that they be disposed of at the same time and in the same manner, without preparing printed copies.

In this manner all persons claiming rights or immunities by reason of the acts of whatever service of the government could establish his right to the claim, if such claim be supported by the accounts rendered of the services and by authority of the council, as established in the minutes.

It is to be remarked that the minutes of the meetings of the council of the provisional government of Tientsin contain a complete and detailed account of all the executive acts of the council. These minutes are the only authority for the acts of the government “de facto” in the districts governed by the provisional government since the Chinese ceased to administer this territory up to the moment when they can again assume charge.

According to the regulations which were imposed on the council by the commandants of the allied forces, the council has received full power and was constituted depository of an absolute authority on the territory which was submitted to it with full consent of the commandants of the allied troops.

This government has continued for nearly two years with the support of the allied powers, and without any protestations being made against any of its acts.

It is to be noted that notwithstanding the fact that the council has changed in its personnel, and that but one of the officers remains of those who were originally placed in charge, the minutes of the council have always been regarded as beyond discussion, and as being the law.

It being understood that the allied powers have always maintained that they were not at war with China, the provisional government must be regarded as having acted for the Chinese Government, and the Chinese Government must recognize the validity of all its acts as if they had been made in the name of the Imperial Chinese authorities themselves.

If it were permitted now to contest the validity of these acts in any one of the details, injury would be done to the founders of the Government, all theory of its existence would be denied, and the door would be opened to disorders and to an interminable confusion.

21. Copies of all proclamations made in the name of the provisional government shall be transmitted to each of the legations at Peking, to each of the foreign consuls at Tientsin, to each of the commandants of the foreign contingents, and to the Chinese authorities, and insistence shall be made upon their execution in so far as it shall not be in opposition with Chinese customs: Provided, That in all cases all contract obligations be maintained.

22. There shall be established three posts of international guard of 20 men each, with a subofficer in command of each post. These three posts will be distributed as follows: One for Hou-Chia-Hou and Ho-Pe, one for the west quarter, and one for the old walled city.

An officer shall be appointed to command the three subofficers and posts.

23. The Chinese Government agrees to prohibit the construction of houses or the establishment of shops, tents, etc., on the streets constructed by the provisional government on the dock, the boulevards around the city, the roadway of the north gate, at the Yuho, and on the dock of the Yuho, etc.

24. The convention with the traction and electric light company and with the water company will be formally accepted by the Chinese authorities, as also that passed for the drainage of the city.

25. The Chinese Government must agree not to oppose the construction of an iron turnbridge forming the junction between the banks of the river in the concessions.

26. No change shall be made in the present system of imposts without first publishing a three months’ notice of such change, and the Chinese Government must admit that the Chinese population has performed its duties in regard to the imposts, and that no claim must be made on it for any arrearages.

27. A list of prisoners, with their sentences, shall be remitted to the Chinese authorities, and the Chinese authorities will see to the execution of such sentences.

28. The council asks that the Chinese Government agree to the continuation of [Page 194] the uncompleted works of the provisional government, the funds for this purpose having been placed aside to be given to the Chinese authorities at the surrender of the government.

propositions (to be suggested to the chinese government, without insisting upon their adoption).

It should be advisable to say to the Chinese Government that two years of the provisional government administration of Tientsin has shown how indispensable the river police is, and to recommend to it the establishment of an effective port and river police.
It is advisable to recommend that the road service and the cleaning of the city be continued by the Chinese authorities.

propositions concerning the method of transferring the tientsin government.

The agents of the Chinese authorities will come two weeks before the transfer of the provisional government to consult with its representatives as to the details of the transfer.
It will be necessary that the viceroy be present on the date on which the provisional government shall be transferred.

A part of the present general secretariat of the provisional government of Tientsin (1 general secretary, 1 assistant secretary, 2 subsecretaries, with the necessary Chinese personnel) will be maintained to gather the archives of the departments, classify them, assure their purpose, and to execute the orders of the council of the allied forces. These duties shall cease whenever the council of the commandants shall judge proper. The salaries of the personnel and its expenses will be provided for by the present provisional government of Tientsin for three months after the dissolution of the provisional government.

After the dissolution of the provisional government and during the military occupation the international commission provided for in article 19, above, will be qualified to control the execution of the detailed conditions in the convention for the return of the provisional government of Tientsin.

Conference of April 6, 1901, of the commanding generals in chief of the allied forces.

list of forts and chinese works to be destroyed.

The intrenched camp of Yang Tsoun (unless the troops left for the protection of the railway desire to utilize it).
Sikou arsenal.
The yellow fort.
The black fort.
The east arsenal.
The two intrenched camps of Chun Liang Cheng.
The camps of Hsin Ho.
The Taku forts.
The forts at Peitang.
The Lutsi camps, situated at less than 2,000 meters of the railway.
The camps between Tang Ho and Shan Hai Kwan, and the forts of Shan Hai Kwan.

provisional government.

List of forts and works destroyed or which will he destroyed before. June 25, 1902.

[Page 195]
Date at which the destruction will be accomplished. Total sum expended or to be expended.
1. Can be utilized by the German detachment
2. Terminated
3. Tientsin yellow fort:
Cheng Ying do $950
Ya Wei Tze do 1,000
Chien Ying and Hou Ying do 770
4. Tientsin black fort do 8,200
5. Tientsin east arsenal May 31 10,000
6. Hsing Chang forts and ramparts June 29 68,500
7. Hsing Ho camps Terminated 1,450
8. Taku:
North fort April 30 $8,000
Northeast fort do 6,350
Magazine April 15 4,755
South fort—
I April 30 24,500
II do 8,950
III do 7,000
IV do 3,800
9. Peitang fort No.—
I do 8,600
II do 8,600
III April 15 3,550
IV (magazine) Terminated 2,100
V April 15 5,150
VI April 30 6,250
10. Lutai, forts and camps Terminated 10,500
11. Shan Hai Kwan fort No.—
I June 15 30,000
II May 15 10,500
III do 10,000
IV April 30 4,500
V April 15 4,500
Total 258,475