Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1523.]

Sir: Inclosing translation of a proclamation issued by Viceroy Alexeieff, and posted all over Manchuria in the Chinese language, I have the honor to be, sir, etc.,

E. H. Conger.

Proclamation of Viceroy Alexeieff.

Alexeieff, by command of the Russian Imperial Government Viceroy of the Far East, issues this proclamation:

Whereas Russia and Japan are at war I give notice that the following six regulations must be uniformly observed by the soldiers, merchants, gentry, and peasantry of the “three eastern provinces:”

While the relations between Russia and Japan were still being amicably discussed to our astonishment they (the Japanese) were cherishing the evil purpose of treacherously surprising the Russian fleet by an attack, and in this highhanded way coercing us. It was impossible for us to sit still under such circumstances, and we can not but take a firm stand and appeal to arms to protect our rights and to prevent the invasion of Chinese territory and, through that, the violation of Russian soil.
At present Russian and Chinese interests are intertwined, like a cart and its prop mutually dependent, and it is our duty, if the enemy should invade the borders, to join together in restricting and attacking him. But, according to a dispatch from the Chinese Government, it desires to keep its hands in its sleeves and maintain an attitude of neutrality. On this account I must urge upon all the officials of Manchuria that they must not only not hinder, but ought to the utmost of their ability to assist the Russian army to purchase locally whatever supplies of grain or forage they may need upon the march, in camp, or when doing garrison duty.
The inhabitants of the “Three eastern provinces,” no matter whether scholars, farmers, mechanics, or merchants, must each pursue his own calling. Should Russian troops arrive in your neighborhood, you should meet with mutual sincerity and good feeling. Russian troops will not only not be allowed to oppress, but on the contrary will furnish extra protection.
The law-abiding people are responsible for the Chinese Eastern Railway, telegraph and telephone wires in their districts, and must exert themselves to give protection. As to the local officers concerned, together with the gentry and village elders, they must all with united purpose take such measures as will secure them (railway, etc.) against injury. This will be greatly appreciated Should anyone plan to injure them, not only will the persons who plot such crimes be severely punished, but you also, the officials and people of the vicinity, who sit by and see the injury being planned, will be held responsible.
The “Bearded Bandits” (Red Beards) are the greatest evil of Manchuria. The Russian troops day and night are anxious to destroy them, so as to protect the law-abiding people. You must not fear to report them; each ought in every [Page 128] way to give assistance, pointing out the forests where they assemble, the places at which they rendezvous, that we may earnestly hope to clear out their haunts and dens and exterminate their bands. Should anyone harbor these gangs of bandits, or knowing their trail conspire with them not to reveal it, his guilt shall be regarded as identical with that of the bandits.
It is my earnest desire that you, the people of Manchuria, and the Russian troops associate together with mutual good feeling. Should any of the Chinese officials or people look upon the Russian troops with enmity the Russian Government will surely take measures to exterminate such persons; on no account will any leniency be shown them. Should such a time come, the Russian Government will adopt such measures as may be necessary to protect its interests.

A general notification. To be posted on all thoroughfares.