Chargé Coolidge to the Secretary of State.

No. 1831.]

Sir: Referring to legation dispatch No. 1609 of May 17, 1904a with regard to the opening by China herself of Chinanfu, the capital of Shantung, to foreign trade, I have the honor to inclose a copy of a note from the foreign office announcing the conditions governing the creation and regulation of the new port.

The point of chief interest is, that the city of Chinanfu is not to be opened itself; consequently, merchandise from the port to the city must be shipped with a transit pass or pay the native customs, octroi, and likin dues. The question of the payment of such dues on goods passing from the foreign settlement to the walled town has never been clearly decided in some of the ports opened by treaties.

Another point to be noted is that the establishment of customhouses is temporarily postponed with a view to encourage trade.

I have, etc.,

John Gardner Coolidge.

Prince Ch’ing to Chargé Coolidge.

It appears from the records that my board after consultation agreed with the superintendent of trade for the north and the governor of Shantung to submit a memorial to the Throne, praying that a commercial port might be opened by China herself outside the walls of Chi-nan Fu in Shantung with branches at Wei Hsien and Chou Ts’un. Concerning this matter my board sent a dispatch to your legation on the 3d of the fourth moon, thirtieth year of Kuanghsü (May 17, 1904), as your files will show.

These being ports opened by China herself, the regulations for their opening and management ought to be determined by the viceroy and governor concerned, and I have just received the regulations in nine articles which the superintendent of trade for the north and the governor of Shantung have submitted in memorial and which have been approved. It is clearly stated, moreover, in the original memorial that on the first opening of the ports the matter of chief importance is to encourage people to locate there, and that it is proposed therefore to postpone temporarily the establishment of custom-houses.

As in duty bound, I transmit herewith a printed copy of the regulations for your examination.

A necessary dispatch.


Regulations for the newly opened treaty ports in Shantung.

* * * * * * *

I. Boundaries.—Boundaries must be laid out for the commercial port outside of Chinanfu in order to distinguish this place from the “interior.” The following boundaries are proposed: From “Shih-wu-tien” (situated southeast of the Chiao-chou and Chinan Railway, west of the city), west to Pei-ta-huai-shu, south to the Ch’and-ch’ing road, and north as far as the railway. From east to west this boundary line will be a little less than 5 li (about a mile and a half) and from north to south about 2 li (about two-thirds of a mile). Thus there will be in all some 4,000 mou of land which will comprise the port for both Chinese and foreign [Page 162] trade. Countries having treaties with China will be permitted to establish and maintain here commercial officers; and commercial citizens of the various foreign nations may come and go, and may rent land, and open up shops, and may reside and carry on business the same as Chinese merchants. All outside the boundaries of this commercial port, both inside and outside the city wall, and all places in the vicinity shall be considered as still being under the regulations for “interior” districts, according to which foreign merchants must not rent or lease houses or open up hongs or shops in such places.

II. Renting of land.—All public and private land inside the limits of the port, as laid down herein, must be surveyed and laid out in divisions, and prices must be determined upon for the different lots. Private houses and lands which are to be used must first be bought by the officials, and then rented out to Chinese or foreign merchants. This is to prevent coercion and the holding of property till the market price has gone up. Proclamations must also be issued preventing landowners and renters from making any private transactions (in land), but if anyone contemplates renting a certain piece of land he must go first to the board of public works and register his application, then any troubles will be avoided by acting upon applications according to priority. (More detailed regulations as to the renting of land will be drawn up later.)

III. Officials.—The port once opened, a great number of people should locate there, and Chinese and foreign intercourse of all kinds will necessarily be very great. It will be necessary then to have special officers to have control of these matters. It is proposed to appoint the taot’ai of the Chi-Tung-T’ai-Wu-Lin circuit, being near, as superintendent.

There are three classes of matters which must be dealt with at the new port. First, the board of public works must take special charge of the improvement of the roads, the erection of public buildings, and building of all kinds. Second, the board of police must look out for the policing of the streets and the investigating of cases of smuggling, etc. (Detailed regulations will be decided upon later.) Third, the judicial bureau must take charge of all matters of litigation, Chinese and foreign. The taot’ai of the Chi-Tung-T’ai-Wu-Lin circuit must appoint deputies to manage the various different affairs, but if the affairs in the port become multitudinous, another official with large experience in international matters can be appointed to assist him or the superintendent of trade for the north and the governor of Shantung can consult together and appoint a foreigner to assist in the management of affairs.

V. Duties and taxes.—Chinanfu being a distinctly inland port, differs from the various other ports, wherefore the matter of customs regulations will be left until we can look into the conditions of the case and then in due time decide how to deal with them. The necessary expenses for the streets, the police, street lighting and sweeping, must be raised by the Chinese officials. After taking into consideration the circumstances, licenses shall be collected in due order from houses, shops, and large and small vehicles, in accordance with rules similar to those generally in use at the other ports, and this tax, when made, shall be paid by Chinese and foreign merchants alike.

VI. Expenses.—When the new port is opened, all kinds of business will increase greatly, and there will be two principal uses for which funds will be necessary. First, the expenses connected with opening up the place—buying up the land, for instance, and the expense of public work—which will amount to a very large sum; second, the annual expenses of the port, the salaries and expenses of the officials, the wages and provisions for messengers and police, and the miscellaneous expenses.

A memorial will be submitted asking for special appropriations of funds to defray these expenses when necessary, that there may be no waste of public money.

VII. Prohibitions.—It will not be permitted to erect straw houses within the limits of the port, nor to store there any powder or dynamite. None but soldiers may carry knives, and it is forbidden to do anything which might injure the general health. Offenders will be dealt with according to the laws of their own country. In cases where dynamite, etc., is needed for use in works of some kind, permission may be obtained from the officials to import it, but it can not be stored up for any length of time.

VIII. Mail, telegraphs, etc.—When the new port is opened, news must be efficaciously despatched. The mail, telegraph, and telephone service shall be under the control of the Chinese, who will establish the systems also and draw up restrictions preventing the establishment of the same by others.

IX. Branch ports.—As the memorial calls for the opening of Wei-hsien and Chou Ts’un as branch ports, these places will be opened up under regulations similar to those for the port outside of Chinanfu.

The above nine articles constitute only the main outline; more detailed regulations must be drawn up for the carrying out of the main rules. Moreover, additional regulations may be added at any time when the circumstances of the place or conditions not previously met may demand it.