The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs (W. W. Yen) to the Minister in China (Schurman)32
Excellency: The receipt is acknowledged of your note (No. 192) dated June 17, stating that at present there are some fourteen American missionaries residing at Batang and about eight at Tachienlu. These missionaries are residing there in accordance with rights conferred by treaty to prosecute their missionary work, and it is not possible for your Legation to summarily instruct them to abandon their work and the property of their missionary societies because of the fact that the Chinese authorities have declared that the Szechuan border is unsafe for travel to foreigners.
This Ministry has to observe that the Szechuan border is unsafe and the purpose of discontinuing the issuance of passports to travel there was made with the idea of protecting lives and property of foreigners. As regards those missionaries who already reside there it is, of course, necessary that the local authorities should exert their utmost efforts to protect them according to treaty.
In addition to despatching another telegram giving instructions in the above sense, I have the honor to send you this reply for your information.
- Transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch no. 764 of June 29, received Aug. 9.↩