Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 112.]

Sir: In continuation of my No. 105 of September 27, transmitting copies of correspondence with our consul-general at Canton and with the foreign office, concerning the boycott, I now have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a note which I addressed to the foreign office, under date of October 3, on this matter.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

Minister Rockhill to Prince Ch’ing.

Your Imperial Highness: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note which your highness sent me under date of the 26th September in reply to that which I addressed to you on the 13th of the same month calling your attention to the inadequacy of the measures taken by the viceroy of the Liang Kuang for arresting the agitation in his province against American interests.

In his reply to you the viceroy makes the following statement:

“Upon the receipt recently of the imperial edict I at once directed the prefect and district magistrate to go in person to the hall of assembly and read the edict to the company, and to exhort and induce the merchants to disperse in obedience to the edict, and await the negotiations of a fair arrangement by the board of foreign affairs and the American Government.”

With this perfunctory action the viceroy appears to have considered that his duty in the matter has been discharged, for the consul-general of the United States in Canton has reported that careful search through the city has shown that only a few copies of the edict have been posted in the city of Canton, and none in the other cities of the Liang Kuang in which he had had search for them made. In his correspondence with the consul-general of the United States the viceroy has persistently ignored every representation or request made him concerning the inefficiency of the measures adopted by him. The losses and embarrassment suffered by trade on account of this unlawful agitation are as great now as before the publication of the imperial edict, and they bid fair to increase steadily.

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In the above-quoted communication from the viceroy to your highness, the writer says further that:

“The local authorities have been able only to take measures to suppress it gradually, and at present the agitation is little by little quieting down. If more hasty measures were to be taken they would stir up revolution, and it would be more difficult than ever to ward off calamity.”

Admitting that the authority of the viceroy must be exercised with caution among a turbulent and excitable people like those of the Liang Kuang Provinces, and admitting, further, that the viceroy is thoroughly in earnest in carrying out to the letter the imperial commands, it is inconceivable, however, that he should allow the impression to become general, as it undoubtedly has, that he is only desirous of having the people bide their time before putting the boycott into effect. In my note of the 26th September I had occasion of calling your highness’s attention to this extraordinary argument of the viceroy. He seems not to have changed his views, although now even a greater responsibility rests on him than before.

I have once more to most strongly urge on your highness the pressing necessity of orders being given to the viceroy which will compel him to take measures for the complete termination of this boycott. The Government of the United States can not for a moment admit that the Emperor’s representative in the Liang Kuang Provinces is unable to suppress the agitation, and any delay on his part to do so will inevitably be understood by my government as a flagrant manifestation of hostility by an agent of your government, for whose shortcomings the Imperial Government must be held responsible.

I avail, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.