Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 146.]

Sir: In continuation of my dispatch No. 112, of October 4, I have the honor to inclose in translation copy of a dispatch received from Prince Ch’ing informing me of the measures which the viceroy of Liang-kuang has telegraphed him he has taken to suppress the boycott and anti-American agitation in the Province of Kuang-tung.

I shall continue to press the Imperial Government for further action on every specific case which is brought to my attention. What I fear the most in the interior is the distribution of inflammatory placards, which, as has been shown in the past, it is very difficult to put a stop to.

I have no means of knowing whether the viceroy’s statement that the boycott does not extend beyond Canton, Swatow, and Wuchow is true, but I am disposed to think he is right. As to the anti-American feeling, that is quite a different matter. The massacre at Lien Chou may have a very quieting effect.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

Prince Ch’ing to Minister Rockhill.

In the matter of the boycott of American goods in protest against the immigration treaty by the merchants of the Two Kuang Provinces, I already had the honor on the 8th instant to inform you of the issue of a proclamation by the viceroy at Canton and of his method of dealing with the matter, as the records will show. I am now in receipt of another telegram from the viceroy at Canton, as follows:

“I have already repeatedly issued emphatic proclamations making known the recent imperial edict, and have issued general instructions to my subordinates to make earnest efforts to persuade the merchants to conduct trade as usual and to strictly forbid the holdings of meetings, the making of speeches, and the posting of placards opposing the treaty and preventing others by threats from buying or using American goods. I have already several times reported to you by telegraph the facts as to my action in this matter, as the records will show.

“In this matter the merchants have been aroused to patriotic zeal, and it is scarcely possible all at once to check the wind and tide. However, it is only at Canton, Swatow, and Wuchow that the movement exists. At other places inland, which are not ports of international trade, the sale of American goods does not amount to much. The people simply know them as foreign goods and do not distinguish them as coming from any particular country. I have repeatedly had reports from local authorities inland in my jurisdiction saying that there are no meetings being held to promote a boycott of American goods.

“As to Canton and the other ports mentioned, I have repeatedly issued admonitions, and all meetings of the people and speechmaking were stopped long ago. I have also directed my subordinates to investigate the matter of printing and circulating placards and to seize them. An investigation of the present condition of affairs shows that in the Two Kuang Provinces the movement in opposition to the treaty is gradually subsiding.”

As in duty bound, I send this dispatch for your excellency’s information.

A necessary dispatch.