Chargé Fletcher to the Secretary of State.

No. 1323.]

Sir: Referring to the subject of the municipal administration of Harbin and in special reference to my No. 1198, of July 3, 1909, with which I inclosed a copy of my note of June 23 to the Prince of Ch’ing with regard to municipal organizations on the lands of the Chinese [Page 224] Eastern Railway, I now have the honor to inclose a copy of the reply of the foreign office to the note referred to.

I have, etc.,

Henry P. Fletcher.

The Prince of Ch’ing to Chargé Fletcher.

No. 649.]

Your Excellency: On the ninth day of the fifth Moon (June 23) I had the honor to receive your excellency’s note regarding the establishment of municipal councils in the railway zone in Manchuria, saying that in the future, when the time came for drawing up the regulations in detail, there should be consultation with the treaty powers.

Just as such action was about to be taken in this matter the Russian minister, Mr. Korostovetz, sent us a copy of a manifesto, to which my board offered strenuous objections, and we prepared a circular note, which has been already sent to your excellency. When China and Russia send officials to Harbin to discuss and settle the detailed regulations above referred to, China will, of course, insist upon the principles laid down in the circular note to safeguard China’s rightful sovereignty and will satisfy the solicitude of the treaty powers.

In regard to the request contained in the note from your excellency, it has been already arranged with Mr. Korostovetz that at the proper time the American consul will be notified, and it is hoped that everything will be satisfactorily arranged.

This reply is sent for the information of your excellency and for transmission to the American Government.

Seal of the Wai Wu Pu.