The Consul General at Canton ( Bergholz ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 21.]
Sir: Upon the departure, or rather flight, from Canton of Dr. Wu Ting-fang, Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Finance, referred to in my despatch No. 48 of April 8, 1920, to which the Department is referred, there remained as members of the governing body, the Administrative Council, General Tsen Chun-hsuan, its chairman, General Lu Yung-ting, the leader of the military party of the South, residing at Nanning, General Tang Chi-yao, Civil and Military Governor of Yunnan, and Admiral Lin Pao-yi, Minister of the Navy. There were, therefore, only four members of the Council while the Constitution provides for seven. After Dr. Wu Ting-fang, Tang Shao-yi and Dr. Sun Yat Sen, all members of the Council living in Shanghai, had been removed from office, due to their having deserted the Government, 129 of the 450 members of the National Assembly at Canton, elected as their successors, Mr. Wen Tsung-yao Minister of Foreign Affairs, General Hsiung Keh-wu, Military Governor of Szechuen, and General Liu Hsien-shih, Military Governor of Kweichow. Of the seven members of the Council, as now constituted, General Tsen Chun-hsuan, Admiral Lin Pao-yi, and Mr. Wen Tsung-yao, are active members, while Generals Lu Yung-ting, Hsiung Keh-wu and Liu Hsien-shih are represented by proxies. General Tang Chi-yao has no proxy on the Council and, consequently, has no voice in its deliberations.
No one questions the honesty and patriotism of Dr. Wu Ting-fang and the former members of the Administrative Council, now at Shanghai, but their refusal to resign from the Council, although refraining from performing their duties, and actually aligning themselves in open hostility to the government they themselves founded, can not but be condemned. Their expressed intention of joining General Tang Chi-yao at Yunnan and of setting up another military government will, if persisted in, lead to civil war and anarchy throughout the South.
Shortly after Dr. Wu’s departure, Admiral Lin Pao-yi left for Hongkong en route to Shanghai but was finally persuaded to return to Canton and to resume his duties as an Administrative Director. General Li Lieh Chun, who acted as intermediary between General Tang Chi-yao and General Mo Yung-hsin in the settlement of the dispute as to who should command the Yunnan troops in Kwangtung, reported in my despatch No. 31 , dated April 28, 1920, has also gone to Shanghai to join Dr. Wu, who, [Page 427] shortly after he left, was followed by several of the junior members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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I have [etc.]