File No. 893.01/59.

Minister Reinsch to the Secretary of State.

No. 820.]

Sir: In continuation of the Legation’s despatch No. 782 of October 11, concerning the monarchical movement, I have the honor to enclose, for reference, the following despatches17 from various consular offices in China; Swatow, Foochow, Shanghai, Mukden, Nanking, Changsha, Canton and Hankow.

At the present writing, reports on the elections have been received from practically all the provinces, which are to the effect that the change of the form of State to a monarchy has been accepted unanimously by the designated electors.

The question as to how far this vote is to be taken as a free expression of public opinion, or of the “will of the people,” is one open to discussion and doubt. In all cases, the electorate was not a large one, but was limited through high property and educational, qualifications. The vote cast in the primary elections was in most cases small, and indications are not wanting that in several of the provinces the officials exerted their influence to the end of constituting the electoral body in a sense favorable to monarchy. On the other hand, instances of direct intimidation or bribery have not been reliably reported. The unanimity of the electors is generally accounted for by referring to the timidity of the Chinese: the votes were given in writing, signed with the name of the elector, and it is likely that, as everybody recognized, the tendency has strongly set in the direction of a monarchy, none of the electors was willing to espouse a losing cause, notwithstanding what their personal preferences might originally have been.

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No organized opposition to the movement has appeared anywhere, but it is apprehended that revolutionaries, who are strongly dissatisfied with the monarchical movement, will have recourse to acts of individual violence, such as that to which Admiral Tseng Jucheng, the military governor of Shanghai, on the 10th instant, fell a victim.

I have [etc.]

Paul S. Reinsch.
  1. Not printed.