393.1123 Lincheng/66: Telegram

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

174. My 173, May 19, 56 [2] p.m. and 172, May 19, 2 p.m.81 Berube82 released by bandits to come to Peking and bring message to diplomatic body and the President of China, arrived midnight and met this morning with us Ministers directly concerned and dean of the diplomatic corps. He sees President this afternoon and comes before the entire diplomatic body tomorrow morning.

Berube reports that Chinese troops have not withdrawn and that bandits instructed him to tell diplomatic body that if they are not withdrawn by Tuesday 22nd bandits will shoot two foreign captives.

Berube also reports that bandits will not negotiate till troops are withdrawn and that their terms include in addition to incorporation in Chinese [Army?] with their own chief [and?] his assistant [Page 644]as commander and chief of staff, and food supplies during negotiations, a guarantee of their security by six foreign powers.

The impossible guarantee demanded of foreign powers may be only part of the bandits’ asking price and the threat to shoot some of the captives is not now made for the first time. But the outlook is worse than it has been. The possibility of shooting and the probability of delay in negotiations must be recognized.

Schurman
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Marcel Berube, French citizen captured by bandits at Lincheng.