The Chargé in China (Mayer) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 28.]
Sir: I have the honor to enclose a clipping from the North China Standard of October 27th,46 describing the additions to the defensive works of the Diplomatic Quarter of Peking, which recently have been undertaken after approval of the recommendations by the Legation Guard Commandants by the Ministers of the Protocol Powers. The cost of these improvements will be defrayed from the accounts of the [Page 320] Administrative Commission of the Diplomatic Quarter. It is hoped however that a substantial donation will be made by the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China, Ltd., to be charged off the cost of the new wall since that Bank will now be inside the defense line of the Quarter, it being situated on that section of the Rue Linievitch south of the new wall.
I confess to a feeling of satisfaction that this project is now being undertaken and should soon be completed. As the Department is no doubt aware the previously existing defenses left the American Legation as well as the Quarter open to direct attack from the North down the Rue Linievitch. I have always been apprehensive that should a mob take advantage of this opportunity it might have to be opposed by bayonets or fire-action rather than be left to a harmless beating itself out of its hysteria against a stone wall or gates, for which the present arrangement now makes provision all around the Quarter.
I have [etc.]
- Not printed.↩