File No. 893.01/30.
Minister Reinsch to the Secretary of State.
Peking , October 2, 1915—6 p.m.
Monarchist movement has gained in strength and extent so that most Legations now expect its successful consummation within a short time. Liang Shih-yi and the Cantonese Party are endeavoring to give the movement constitutional form; on the motion of former the Council of State is making provisions for a referendum on the question of the form of State in connection with elections of members of the citizens’ Constitutional Convention which are set for October 21. Under this law each hsien is to elect one delegate; all the delegates of the hsien in any province are to meet in the provincial capital and there to vote on the main question on a date to be fixed by Presidential mandate.
The original promoters of the movement, the military and the Anhui Party, are reported as not greatly pleased with this policy which would base action upon the consent of the whole body of citizens rather than on the support of any party or class. The leaders who favor this policy are also likely to work for the development of representative institutions and of a responsible administration under the monarchy if restored. These progressive elements realizing the strength of monarchical movement have allied themselves with it in the hope of and with the intent of influencing it in the direction of constitutionalism.
Meanwhile the military leaders are reported as being impatient and apprehension is expressed lest on October 10 some coup d’état be attempted by them or that on the other hand radical revolutionists may chose this day for violent measures. Extra police precautions are being taken. The President has stated to one of his advisers that he would not allow the military to place him in the position of accepting the crown in a coup d’état. In the event of a restoration of the monarchy no open resistance is expected although there may be some bomb throwing.