File No. 158.931/162.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.

No. 196.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that Dr. Strong, the American representative to the International Medical Congress for the scientific investigation of the plague, to be held at Mukden beginning April 3, 1911, arrived at Peking on the 25th ultimo. Dr. Strong is accompanied by an assistant, Dr. Teague.

Though the program for the conference is not yet formulated and while the Chinese Government expressed the hope that the delegates would not engage in active antiplague work and would not proceed to Manchuria until near the opening of the conference, yet as Dr. Strong was urged by the Red Cross Society to hasten to the scene of the epidemic, so that he might study plague conditions on the spot and make scientific investigations of actual cases before the conference meets, these doctors were extremely anxious to proceed to Manchuria at the earliest possible moment, especially as the late reports therefrom were to the effect that the plague was rapidly disappearing. I accordingly called informally at the foreign office on the 17th ultimo and apprised them of the desire of our doctors to proceed at once to the affected area and the reasons therefor, when I was informed that the foreign office had changed its mind and saw no objection to their proceeding at once; in fact, the foreign office would for political reasons welcome their departure. The foreign office immediately telegraphed the viceroy at Mukden.

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In the event of the death of any of the delegates the Chinese Government will, I am informed by the foreign office, certainly indemnify the families. The present rule in the event of deaths of foreign doctors employed in plague work for China is to give their families 10,000 taels each.

I have, etc.,

W. J. Calhoun.