393.1123 Lincheng/30: Telegram

The Minister in China (Schurman) to the Secretary of State

Lunched 10th at Nanking with Military Governor Chi, powerful adherent of Tsao Kun and lower Yangtze prop of Peking Government, and had long conference with him on bandit outrage at Lincheng. Governor said he sent troops at outset to assure Governor of Shantung and now has advisers at Lincheng to aid in effecting pacific arrangement with the bandits for liberation of foreigners on the understanding that the Chinese Government is to pay ransom to the bandits. Government will consider hereafter policy of bandit extermination. [Page 636]Government is also endeavoring to get food and clothing to the foreign captives through the natives of the locality.

I replied that this was a case in which time counted for everything, that a day’s delay might cause a foreigner’s death of starvation or shooting and one such death might precipitate an international complication.

Chinese are always in terror of foreign intervention and Governor concluded by saying he would telegraph instructions to his representatives on the spot along the lines which I had urged.

With Governor Chi, Shantung Military Governor, Peking Government and Tsao Kun all of one mind liberation of foreigners may be expected any time.

Schurman