Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 181.]

Sir: In further reference to the proposal made by the Waiwu Pu for the settlement of the question of the conversion into gold at the rate of exchange of June 30, 1905, of the amounts paid in silver during the first six months of the current year by the Chinese Government on account of the indemnity, and of an adjustment of the rates of exchange fixed by the bankers’ commission at Shanghai and the taot’ai who makes the payments on account of the indemnity (see my No. 134 of October 27, 1905), I have now the honor to inclose copy of an identic note handed me and to the other diplomatic representatives of the powers which signed the final protocol of September 7, 1901, by the Prince of Ch’ing on the 23d instant, together with copy of the collective note we handed him accepting the proposals made by his board.

[Page 159]

With this matter disposed of, the negotiations concerning the mode of payment of the indemnity of 1900 are now, it would seem, terminated, and China has fairly successfully defended her interests.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Prince of Ch’ing to Baron von Mumm.

As to the matter of the payment of the indemnity, notes were exchanged between the various ministers in Peking representative of the powers and the Chinese Government on the 30th of the fifth moon of the present year (July 2, 1905), by which a satisfactory arrangement was agreed to, as the records will show. But the matter of the amounts of the payments made during the first half of the present year, as reduced to gold at the rate of June 30, 1905, and that of the nonagreement of the rate of exchange into gold, used by the bankers’ commission, and the rate of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, it was by general agreement decided to leave for settlement later. That is to say, according to the rate of exchange into gold for the 30th of June, 1905, as fixed by the bankers’ commission 1 tael Shanghai Sycee was equal to 2 shillings 7.125 pence, but according to the rate of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation 1 tael was equal to 2 shillings 7.75 pence. According to the difference between these two rates the error in reckoning the total amount paid the powers is equal to 186,792.95 protocol haikwan taels. As the Chinese Government desires to settle the matter justly, if the powers concerned will agree to forego one-half of this sum, China on her part will agree to bear the loss of the other half.

According to the arrangement entered into on the 2d of July this year, China is required to divide into twelve parts the total amount due each year for amortization and interest and pay one part each month, but this arrangement will go into effect only at the beginning of next year. For the present year, according to Article VI of the protocol of 1901, China has to pay interest only in the first half of the year, and the payments on the principal due for the year have to be paid only in the latter half of the year. Therefore, if on reckoning the amounts paid during the first half of the year, it appears that China has paid in excess of the amount due, according to the new arrangement with regard to payments made in advance, she should be allowed a discount equal to interest at 4 per cent on such excess for the six months from June 30 to December 31, and I have to request each of the ministers residing in Peking representative of the powers concerned to inform me of the amount in the gold currency of his own country received on June 30 by his country in excess of the amount due it, so that I may notify the Shanghai taot’ai to take action accordingly. This is the proposition of my board, and, as in duty bound, I send this dispatch to request the various ministers concerned to give it their consideration, and I beg that they will inform me at an early date of the willingness or otherwise of their governments to accept this proposition.

A necessary dispatch.

[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Baron von Mumm et al. to the Prince of Ch’ing.

Your Highness: We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter which your imperial highness was pleased to send us under date of Deceember 23, 1905, and in which it was stated:

“As to the matter of the payment of the indemnity * * * to accept this proposition.” (See inclosure 1.)

We have submitted this proposal to our respective governments which, having examined it in a conciliatory spirit, have given it their approval.

Consequently we have the honor to inform your imperial highness that we accept the proposal made in your note above cited and we acknowledge a balance due China at the date of June 30, 1905, of 268,484.86 protocol taels, being made up of 175,088.39 protocol taels overpaid by China during the first six months of the present year, according to calculation made by the bankers, plus 837.65 protocol taels, which amount the Chinese Government still owed [Page 160]the United States of America on the 30th of June, according to the same calculation, and of one-half of the above-mentioned difference, that is to say, 92,558.82 protocol taels. To this sum of 268,484.86 protocol taels should be added interest at the rate of 4 per cent a year from June 30 to December 31. The total of this balance plus the interest, to wit, 273,854.53 protocol taels, may be substracted by the taot’ai of Shanghai from the payment of December 31, and instructions in accordance will be given by me to the commission of bankers at Shanghai.

Your highness will find annexed hereto a list of the balances of the various powers on the 30th of last June, which have been fixed on the basis of the proposal accepted by our governments.

  • A. v. Mumm.
  • A. Rosthorn.
  • E. de Prelle,
  • E. de Carcer.
  • W. W. Rockhill.
  • M. Dubail.
  • Ernest Satow.
  • C. Baroll.
  • Y. Uchida.
  • A. J. Citters.
  • D. Pokotilow.

List of balances.

Balance on June 30 in foreign currencies. Interest. Amount to be credited to China on December 31, in foreign currencies. The same amounts in protocol taels.
Germany marks 152,234.06 3,044.68 155,278.74 50,827.73
Austria-Hungary crowns 7,190.90 143.82 7,334.72 2,040.25
Belgium francs 18,270.84 365.41 18,636.25 4,969.66
Spain do 291.39 5.82 297.21 79.25
France do 152,635.13 3,052.70 155,687.83 41,516.75
United States dollars, gold 3,618.86 72.37 3,691.23 4,974.71
Great Britain £3,639.17s. £72,15s.11d. £3,71212s.11d. 24,750.97
Portugal £6,12s.6d. 2s.8d. £6,15s.2d. 45.05
Italy francs 57,319,26 1,146,38 58,465,64 15,590,33
Japan yen 70,302,15 1,406,04 71,708,19 50,965,31
Netherlands florins 908,05 18,16 926,21 515,71
International claims £10,15s.3d. 4s.4d. £10,19s.7d. 73,19
Russia roubles 107,248.84 2,144.98 109,393.82 77,474.38
Sweden and Norway £4,10s.4d. 1s.10d. £4,12s.2d. 30.72
Grand total 273,854.53