393.1123 Coltman, Charles/38: Telegram

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

48. My 2, January 2, 6 p.m. and 36, January 30, 5 p.m. Following reply (introduction omitted) was received evening 10th from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which new Minister, General Huang Fu, entered upon duties of office without waiting for parliamentary confirmation morning of 9th instant.

“With reference to the method of settlement, in your note of January 3rd you mention six points. With the exception of the first point, regarding which this Ministry addressed a note to you on January 3rd which is on record, the remaining five points do not perhaps take into consideration the true facts in this case in their order and for this reason there are points which it is difficult for this Government to comply with. However, in consideration of the friendship between China and the United States and with the idea of reaching a settlement of this case at an early date this Ministry after giving the matter thorough consideration has the honor to send you the following further reply: 1. The Tutung of Chahar will in accordance with the spirit of this Ministry’s note of January 3rd to Your Excellency prepare a note apologizing to Your Excellency but he cannot apologize to the present American consul at Kalgan, Mr. Sokobin. 2. This Government will issue an instruction to the Tutung of Chahar to examine thoroughly the chief of staff of the Tutung’s office, the chief adjutant, and Adjutant Wang who was sent to the place where the affair arose and to punish them according to law as a warning for the future. 3. Out of pity and regard for the family of the American merchant, Charles L. Coltman, it is permitted that the Chinese local officials shall in conformity with precedent consult together and give his family a compassionate allowance as an evidence of sympathy. 4. When American merchants carry specie outside of the district, if the sum is really for use by the merchant in his own business, hitherto permission has been granted and the funds released after due investigation. In the future this will still be done. 5. As to the matter of the delays to the business of American merchants caused by this case and the losses resulting therefrom the Chinese Government is not responsible therefor and regrets that it cannot recognize any claims for indemnity.

It is requested that Your Excellency will thoroughly consider the foregoing method of procedure which this Government considers [Page 724] to be a very just and equitable one for the settlement of this case and we trust that Your Excellency will find no difficulty in giving assent thereto.

I have the honor to request a reply”.

According to the newspapers the Tutung of Chahar has been in Peking most of past week conferring with Government in preparation of foregoing note. The note being very unsatisfactory I have already written to Premier for a conference tomorrow.