393.1123 Lincheng/54: Telegram

The Counselor of Legation at Peking (Bell) to the Secretary of State

166. My 161, May 16, 3 p.m. Following translation of memorandum handed by dean to Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs afternoon 16th:

“In view of the assurances received from the representatives of the Chinese Government before the meeting of May 14th, the diplomatic corps believed that it could count upon the immediate release of the prisoners held captive by the brigands of Shantung. The diplomatic corps has been astonished to ascertain that these prisoners have not been freed and that the negotiations entered upon with a view to their release appear to be interrupted for reasons which have not yet been explained. The diplomatic corps again emphasizes the responsibility which devolves upon the Chinese Government in this regard and waits with impatience for it to take without further delay efficacious measures for the liberation of the prisoners. It reserves the right to fix at a later date the nature and scope of the sanctions which the delay in the settlement of this deplorable affair entail and which will be destined to prevent its recurrence.

The dean of the diplomatic corps is directed to recall the undertaking of the Chinese Government regarding the investigation entrusted to the international commission now convened at Tsaochuang and requests to be informed of the instructions sent to the representatives of the Chinese Government. Diplomatic corps is greatly surprised to learn that, on May 14th, the representative of the Foreign Office alleged that he had not received these instructions.”

Schurman [Bell]