Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1504.]

Sir: Since writing my dispatch No. 1500, of February 10, 1904, I have received two notes from the foreign office expressing the fixed purpose of the Imperial court to remain in Peking and preserve order. I inclose copies.

I have, etc.,

E. H. Conger.
[Page 123]
[Inclosure 1.]

The Foreign Office to Mr. Conger.

We have the honor to state that recently your excellency mentioned in conversation that you had lately heard reports outside to the effect that in the event of war breaking out between Russia and Japan, Their Imperial Majesties the Empress Dowager and the Emperor would leave Peking.

The one fixed purpose of the court is to remain here and preserve order. Extra care is being taken strictly to prevent the reckless manufacture of idle rumors.

The capital is of great importance and there must not be any journeying of the Imperial chariot. We have therefore to beg your excellency to set your mind at rest.

In sending this information we avail ourselves of the opportunity to wish you the compliments of the day.

Cards inclosed.

[Inclosure 2.]

Prince Ch’ing to Mr. Conger.

I have the honor to inform your excellency that on the 27th of the twelfth moon, XXIX year of Kuanghsü (Feb. 12, 1904), I received the follownig Imperial edict:

“The censor, Wang Feng-ch’ih, has submitted a secret memorial, saying that he had heard it said that owing to the present war between Japan and Russia perhaps the court would move westward on account of the disturbed condition of the East, and that he presumed to trouble the Imperial ear to listen to his words; that if we should make the mistake of listening to such a proposal men would become frightened and the affections of the people would become divided.

“Japan and Russia at present have severed their peaceful relations, but they have no quarrel with China. Both the capital and the Provinces are quiet and peaceful as usual; why, then, should a removal of the court be suggested? The said censor in thus hastily taking up a baseless report has shown carelessness in submitting his memorial; which evidences a lack of intelligence in managing affairs. Wang Feng-ch’ih is hereby warned by our command. Hereafter should anyone recklessly manufacture false rumors confusing and deceiving those that listen to them, let the commandant of the gendarmerie, the prefect of Shun-t’ien (Peking), and the censors of the Five Cities (five divisions of Peking) all use strict measures to seize them and punish them so as to tranquilize the people. Respect this.”

As in duty bound, I have reverently copied the above edict and send it to your excellency for your consideration.

A necessary dispatch.