File No. 1518/359.
Chargé Fletcher to the Secretary of State.
Peking , February 1, 1910 .
Sir: In continuation of my No. 1317 of December 6, 1909, on the subject of constitutional reform in China, I have the honor to inclose translation of an interesting and important edict issued on the 30th ultimo in answer to a memorial presented by certain delegates from the provincial assemblies praying for the opening of the Imperial Parliament in advance of the time fixed in the original program.
The prayer of the memorial is refused on the ground that the time is not ripe and the firm purpose of the Throne to adhere strictly and consistently to the constitutional program is declared.
I have, etc.,