The Secretary of State to Chargé Fletcher.

No. 699.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 1323, of December 17, 1909, inclosing copy of the reply of the foreign office, dated the 10th idem, to your note of June 23 last, with reference to municipal organizations on the lands of the Chinese Eastern Railway Co.

The department notes with satisfaction the statement in the foreign office reply to the effect that by arrangement with the Russian minister at Peking the American consul at Harbin will be notified in due time concerning the detailed regulations, and that it is hoped that everything will be satisfactorily arranged.

In view of this statement of the Chinese Government, Mr. Rockhill has been instructed by telegraph to defer for the present any discussion of the detailed objections with the Russian foreign office.

I inclose copy of instructions sent to the consul at Harbin directing him to observe quietly the progress of events, but to avoid taking any other official action in regard to the regulations until so instructed by the depratment or the legation.

I am, etc.,

P. C. Knox.