Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 79.]

Sir: In continuation of my dispatch No. 77 of the 29th ultimo, I inclose herewith a translation of an imperial edict published yesterday, condemning boycotting of American goods and enjoining on the viceroys and governors the duty of taking effective action to stop it and prevent further agitation.

I think the edict will produce very favorable effects and will force the various provincial authorities to take stronger action than heretofore [Page 225] for the suppression of the agitation, which has shown signs of waning for the last ten days, as you will have noted by my recent dispatches on the subject.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

Imperial edict of August 31, 1905.

A censor, by the name of Wang Pu-ying, has memoralized the Throne to the effect that the boycott movement against American goods which is being agitated by merchants and laborers in various provinces is becoming too violent. He requests, therefore, that orders be given for special measures for the protection of the public interests.

In regard to this matter the prince and ministers of the Waiwu Pu, in personal memorials relating to the coolie immigration treaty, have previously said that Minister Liang and the Waiwu Pu had discussed the matter frequently with the American Government and the latter had promised to give courteous treatment to all Chinese merchants, teachers, students, and travelers, and had signified also their willingness to take the matter up and give it just consideration at the next session of Congress. This is all of record.

Now the above-mentioned censor, in his memorial, says that the public feeling is greatly stirred up and there is too much wild talk, so it is hard to guarantee there will not be evildoers who will grasp the opportunity to carry out their wicked schemes to the detriment of the public interests. Such being the case, we must make a special proclamation in order to correct the misunderstanding and allay the general suspicion. The deep friendship of the United States and China is of long-standing; the two countries have never before been placed in a position like this. The American Government has promised to discuss the coolie immigration treaty on friendly terms. The proper thing to do, then, is to await the action of the Waiwu Pu in the matter, who will discuss the changes to be made and deal with the whole affair in a friendly way. It is not right to forbid the use of American goods and take such hasty action. It is both harmful to our friendly relations with the United States and it is the cause of serious losses to Chinese merchants and laborers. The Waiwu Pu has repeatedly telegraphed to the various viceroys and governors, directing them to explain the matter clearly to the people and tell them to carry on their business as usual.

Be it known once more, then, that the viceroys and governors will be held responsible for effective action in the matter. Let them exhort the people and from time to time make thorough inquiries into the trouble, that all may live in peace and happiness. Let them not fail to comply with these imperial orders solemnly enjoined upon them by the Throne. If there be any who in their ignorance fan the flame of disturbance, let these be immediately arrested and dealt with, that unfortunate results may be forestalled. Let this be known throughout the Empire.

Respect this.