The Consul General at Tientsin (Fuller) to the Secretary of State

No. 254

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of my despatches Nos. 214 and 21724 sent to the Legation today, together with copies [Page 449]of the correspondence of the Consular Body, in regard to protection of the railway, foreign concessions, and city of Tientsin during the present disturbances.

I have [etc.]

Stuart J. Fuller
[Enclosure 1]

The Senior Consul at Tientsin (Ker)25 to the Civil Governor of Chihli (Tsao Jui)

Your Excellency: I am requested by the Consular Body to state that they have received reports that fighting is proceeding within a short distance of Tientsin, and they are apprehensive lest the safety of the city and of the foreign concessions may be endangered if troops of either side approach still nearer Tientsin.

In view of this danger and in consideration of the provisions of the agreement of 190226 whereby the Chinese Government undertook that no troops should approach or be stationed within a limit of twenty li from the foreign garrisons of Tientsin, the Consular Body would be pleased to know what measures are being taken to ensure that the above provisions are not infringed.

The same request is being conveyed by wireless telegraphy through the Dean of the Diplomatic Body to the military authorities of the opposing party.

With assurances [etc.]

W. P. Ker
[Enclosure 2]

The Senior Consul at Tientsin (Ker) to the Senior Military Commander at Tientsin (Minami)27

Sir: I am directed by the Consular Body to forward herewith copy of a communication addressed today to H. E. the Civil Governor, and to request you to consider with your Colleagues what concerted action might be taken by the foreign military contingents to ensure the safety of the city and the foreign Concessions, having in view the zone laid down in July, 1902.

I have [etc.]

W. P. Ker
[Page 450]
[Enclosure 3]

Circular No. 19 of the Senior Consul at Tientsin (Ker)

The Senior Consul has the honour to circulate for the information of His Honourable Colleagues an original Note from the Civil Governor in reply to the Note from the Consular Body of yesterday.

Although the fighting is now very close to Tientsin the Governor thoroughly appreciates the importance of observing the provisions laid down in the Agreement of 1902 with reference to the 20 li zone, and instructions have been given to the Military Authorities to observe them strictly. Instructions have also been issued for joint action on the part of the Officers administering Martial Law and the Police with a view to ensuring the safety of the Foreign and Chinese populations and the preservation of peace.

The Governor recognises the correctness of the message conveyed by the Consular Body to the Authorities of the Opposing Forces, through the Diplomatic Body at Peking, and does not doubt that those Forces will recognise the responsibility thus imposed upon them.

The Senior Consul is sending a copy of this Consular [circular] to the Senior Military Commander for his information.

[Enclosure 4]

The Senior Military Commander at Tientsin (Minami) to the Senior Consul at Tientsin (Ker)

Sir: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 16th July, 1920. A Meeting of the Foreign Power Commandants was held this morning and the following decision arrived at.

The positions as shown on the attached map28 will be taken up by the respective Commandants in the event of an emergency. When you consider that the emergency has arisen it is requested that you will inform me.

I should be glad if you would inform me as soon as possible in the event of these positions being taken up what steps should be taken by the Military to enforce the provisions of the protocol. The points at issue are, (1) Disarming, (2) Interning the Use of Armed Force.

I have [etc.]

J. Minami
[Page 451]
[Enclosure 5]

The Senior Consul at Tientsin (Ker) to the Senior Military Commander at Tientsin (Minami)

Sir: I am directed by the Consular Body to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th July, enclosing map of the positions proposed to be occupied by foreign troops in case of an emergency being notified to you by the Consular Body.

In view of the tenour of the Civil Governor’s reply of which a precis has been communicated to you, showing that the Chinese Authorities assume full responsibility under the provisions of the agreement of 1902 regarding the 20-li zone, the Consular Body is of the opinion that, after providing fully for safeguarding the railway and protecting the foreign settlements, including possibly the ex-Austrian and ex-German Concessions, it will not be necessary to maintain the line of defence shown on your map, unless Military Commandants consider this essential to the safeguarding of the railway and the protection of the foreign settlements.

I have [etc.]

W. P. Ker
  1. Neither printed.
  2. William Pollock Ker, British consul general.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1902, pp. 198 201.
  4. Maj. Gen. J. Minami, commanding Japanese troops in North China.
  5. Not found in Department files.