Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.
Peking, June 13, 1906.
Sir: In continuation of my No. 311 of May 15, I have the honor to state that on that date, it appearing to me desirable to secure from the Chinese Government a written statement concerning the scope of the imperial edict of May 9 appointing the high commissioners of customs, I addressed a note to the Prince of Ch’ing, a translation of which is inclosed herewith. On the 17th I received the prince’s reply, in which he informed me that the newly appointed commissioners had, in an interview with Sir Robert Hart, informed him that customs affairs in the future be managed as heretofore. This reply I considered so unsatisfactory that I did not deem it necessary to communicate it to you.
I now have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note dated the 6th instant from the chargé d’affaires of Great Britain to the dean of the diplomatic body, inclosing a translation of a note received by him from His Highness the Prince of Ch’ing explaining the imperial edict of May 9. The British chargé d’affaires informs the dean in this note that he has received authorization from his Government to state that it is satisfied with the contents of the prince’s note.
Of course the question involves not only the whole subject of the administration of the maritime customs, properly speaking, but also that of the native customs at the treaty ports, which by the portocol of September 7, 1901, were placed under the control of the maritime customs.
Upon receipt of this information from the dean, I telegraphed you on the 7th instant the substance of the prince’s note, as follows:a
I have, etc.,