IOR/L/PS/11/3 - China: Correspondence Relating to Dispatch of British Troops From Hong Kong. 28 Oct 1911-6 Jan 1912

Confidential.

P

341

1912

P 340

er S.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

presents his compliments to the

Under. Secretary of state

for India

1

and is directed by the Secretary of State

for Foreign Affairs to transmit the accompanying sections of

printed confidential correspondence.

 

[ 21 ]

Foreign Office,

January 3rd; 19 12

Put by

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4 JAN 1912

LITICAL MADRI

Aby to Jika

fice below. бел

6/1/12

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[December 2.]

SECTION 1.

Х

[48256]

Sir,

2

1912

No. 1.

War Office to Foreign Office.—(Received December 2.)

Whitehall, December 2, 1911.

I AM commanded by the Army Council to acknowledge the receipt of

your letter, dated the 1st December, 1911, recommending that a force consisting of 100 infantry and

guns

shall be sent to Hankow to assist the naval force and British volunteers at that place in the protection of the foreign settlement, and to forward, for the information of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, copies of letters addressed to the Admiralty and the Colonial Office, which show the action taken by the council regarding the dispatch of troops from Hong Kong.

Enclosure 1 in No. 1.

War Office to Admiralty.

I am, &c.

R. H. BRADE.

7

1

Sir,

Whitehall, December 2, 1911.

I AM commanded by the Army Council to refer to the correspondence which has passed between the Admiralty and the War Office relative to the possible dispatch of troops from Hong Kong to assist in the protection of the foreign settlements at treaty ports in China :—

Admiralty letter, dated the 9th November, 1911. War Office letter, dated the 9th November, 1911. Admiralty letter, dated the 10th November, 1911. War Office letter, dated the 13th November, 1911. Admiralty letter, dated the 17th November, 1911. Admiralty letter, dated the 24th November, 1911.

I am to explain that in conformity with the views expressed by the Foreign Office as to the undesirability of landing military forces in Chinese ports it was decided by the council that, while troops should be held in readiness, orders for their dispatch should be deferred.

I am to say that a despatch, dated the 1st December, 1911, has now been received from the Foreign Office recommending that a force consisting of 100 infantry and guns shall be sent to Hankow to assist the naval force and British volunteers at that place in the defence of the foreign settlement, and that, in consequence, orders have been sent by cable to the general officer commanding the troops in Hong Kong to dispatch forthwith this contingent, to be at the disposal of the naval commander-in-chief for service at Hankow.

I am to suggest that, subject to the approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, instructions shall be sent to the commander-in-chief to arrange for their transport from Hong Kong, and subsequent withdrawal from Hankow, when their services there are no longer required, or should circumstances render a withdrawal from that place necessary.

Enclosure 2 in No. 1.

War Office to Colonial Office.

I am, &c.

R. H. BRADE.

Sir,

Whitehall, December 2, 1911.

I AM commanded by the Army Council to refer to the correspondence which has passed between the Colonial Office and the War Office relative to the possible dispatch

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4 JAN 1912

CAL DEPARTMEN

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO!

4

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[499€6]

P 341

[December 12.]

1912

SECTION 1.

No. 1.

Question asked in the House of Commons, December 12, 1911.

Mr. Harold Smith,- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government is offering to grant new leases in Canton on the basis of not only the value of the land, but also of the property erected thereon; and, if so, whether the interests of present lot-holders will be protected, and particularly of those who, having purchased Crown leases for a long term at a stipulated rental, have erected valuable buildings on the land thus leased.

Answer.

So far, His Majesty's Government are making no offer to grant new leases, either at Canton or in other British concessions in China. An official from the Foreign Office the has been dispatched to China especially to gather information and report on question of leases in the British concessions, after discussion with His Majesty's Minister and consular officers on the subject. No decision shall be come to in the matter until his report has been received and considered.

[2289 m~- ·1]

COPY TO INDIA

4 JAN 1912

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S No 1

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

"AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[50010]

P 341

[December 14.]

1912

SECTION 1.

No. 1.

Admiralty to Foreign Office. (Received December 14.)

Admiralty, December 13, 1911.

(Confidential.) Sir,

I AM commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit herewith, for the information of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, copy of a letter which has been addressed to the War Office relative to the request of the Commander-in-chief, China, that a military guard might be sent to Canton. (Telegram No. 146 sent to Foreign Office to-day.)

I am, &c.

W. GRAHAM GREENE.

Enclosure in No. 1.

Admiralty to War Office.

Admiralty, December 13, 1911.

(Confidential.) Sir,

I AM commanded by my Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit herewith, for the information of the Army Council, copy of a cypher telegram No. 146, which was received to-day from the Commander-in-chief, China, requesting that the naval guard at Canton may be replaced by military.

In view of this telegram, my Lords consider it desirable that a military guard should be sent to Hong Kong if possible.

A copy of this letter has been sent to the Foreign Office.

I am, &c.

W. GRAHAM GREENE.

[2289 0-1]

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POLITICAL

4 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

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AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

341

[December 16.]

1912

CONFIDENTIAL.

SECTION 1.

[50004]

(No. 532.) Sir,

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie.

Foreign Office, December 16, 1911. I AM informed by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank that the French group interested in Chinese finance have, with the concurrence of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, invited the British, German and American group to make an advance of 300,000 taels to the Director of Chinese Posts.

The three groups consider the advance an undoubted infringement of the principle laid down at the recent intergroup conference at Paris, that no financial assistance should be given to the Chinese Government in present circumstances. They have, therefore, refused to join in the operation, and have suggested that the French group should make the advance alone, under article 5 of the intergroup agreement of December, 1910.

I should be obliged if your Excellency would take an opportunity of informing the French Minister for Foreign Affairs that I share the view of the British group that this advance is opposed to the principle above mentioned. Even in the form of a local advance I consider it open to objection as likely to be interpreted by the revolutionaries as unduly favouring the existing Government, and I therefore trust the French Government will not countenance further advances to branches of the Chinese administration in existing circumstances.

I am, &c.

E. GREY.

[2289 q-1]

RECEIVED T

4 JAN 1912

COLITICAL

DEST

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S No I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

1912

:

December 2.7

SECTION 2.

X

[48256]

(No. 54.)

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir C. MacDonald.

(Telegraphic.) R.

Foreign Office, December 2, 1911. ÖRDERS have been given for the immediate dispatch from Hong Kong of 100 British troops in order to relieve sailors and volunteers in guarding concession.

Please inform Japanese Government.

[2289 b-2]

4 JAN 1912

TAL

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

P 341

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

1912

[December 11.]

SECTION 2.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[49865]

No. 1.

Question asked in the House of Commons, December 11, 1911.

Mr. Charles Bathurst,-To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the action of the British consul-general at Shanghai, in giving notice to all traders of British nationality that they must not provide either of the belligerents in the Chinese Empire with supplies of any kind, while it is left open to traders of other nationalities to sell goods to such belligerents without any interference on the part of the representatives of their respective Governments, has resulted in diverting trade into other than British channels; and whether, under these circumstances, the notice can be withdrawn, or, alternatively, uniform action be secured in this matter on the part of the Governments of all foreign nations whose subjects carry on trade at Shanghai.

Answer.

As far as my information goes, the action of His Majesty's consul-general at Shanghai was confined to calling the attention of British subjects to the Order in Council of 1904, by which British subjects are forbidden to assist in any way in the carrying on of war, insurrection, or rebellion against the Government of China. But I will request His Majesty's Minister in China to report on the subject.

[2289 7-2]

RECE

4 JAN 1912, DEPARTY

POLITICAL

COPY TO A 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S N. I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

P 341

[November 23.]

SECTION 3.

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

1912

[46736]

No. 1.

Sir,

Colonial Office to Foreign Office.-(Received November 23.)

Downing Street, November 22, 1911.

I AM directed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to transmit to you, with reference to letter to the Colonial Office of the 18th November, copy of a telegram to the Commissioner of Wei-hai Wei on the subject of the revolt in China.

I am,

&c.

JOHN ANDERSON.

Enclosure in No. 1.

Mr. Harcourt to the Commissioner of Wei-hai Wei.

(Telegraphic.)

YOUR telegram of 14th November.

Downing Street, November 20, 1911. You should communicate with the

revolutionary authorities only so far as is strictly necessary, and should avoid any action implying formal recognition of the revolutionary Government.

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4 JAN 1912,

OLITICAL

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S No I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

P 341

CONFIDENTIAL.

[November 29.]

SECTION 3.

[47466]

(No. 185.)

(Telegraphic.) R.

1912

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, November 29, 1911.

YOUR telegram No. 305 of 27th November: Guarding of Lankow-Shanhaikuan

section of line by Japanese.

Your action approved.

Repeat to Tokyo.

[2248 -3]

4 JAN 1912

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S N2 I

LIT

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[November 30.]

1912

SECTION 3.

[47944]

No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received November 30.)

(No. 312.) (Telegraphic.) R.

Peking, November 30, 1911.

HIS Majesty's consul-general at Yünnan-fu reports that rebels were defeated with great loss at Ningyuan-fu. Missionaries safe 21st November.

[47830]

No. 2.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

(No. 186.)

(Telegraphic.) R.

Foreign Office, November 30, 1911.

YOUR telegram No. 311 of 29th November: Patrol of West River by British men-of-war.

Your action approved.

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IN

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4 JAN 1912

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SECRETARY'S NO I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

December 2.]

1912

SECTION 3.

[47957]

(No. 189.)

(Telegraphic.) R.

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

YOUR telegram No. 313 of 30th November.

Foreign Office, December 2, 1911.

War Office were requested yesterday to give orders for dispatch of 100 infantry with, if possible, two guns immediately to Hankow.

[48133]

(No. 191.)

(Telegraphic.) R.

No. 2.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, December 2, 1911.

YOUR telegram No. 315 of 1st December.

Orders were telegraphed to Hong Kong yesterday to send at once 100 men with two guns, also small detachment of engineers, medical corps, &c.

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REO

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4 JAN 1912

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5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'.

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[December 16.]

1912

SECTION 3.

[50464]

(Translation.)

No. 1.

Memorandum by Count Metternich.-(Received December 16.)

THE German consul-general at Shanghai has reported to the Imperial Govern- ment that the British consul-general there is of opinion that the Chinese rebels are entitled to search merchant vessels for contraband outside the port of Shanghai. Consequently searches on British merchant vessels off Woosung were carried out by the rebels without interference from British war-ships.

The British Minister at Peking, on the other hand, instructed the British consul- general at Shanghai that the boarding of English vessels in the port of Shanghai for purposes of search was inadmissible. That the British consul-general was entitled in such a case to requisition the help of the municipal police or that of the crews of English ships.

The Imperial Embassy would be glad to be informed whether the view of the British representatives in question is shared by the British Government, and, if this be so, whether the distinction which is made by them between the port of Shanghai and other places is to be ascribed to grounds of international law or of expediency. The Imperial Embassy have been instructed to make an immediate report upon this matter, and would therefore be grateful for an answer by return of post if possible.

London, December 16, 1911.

[2289 q—3]

4

ECEIVED

TA

4 JAN 1912

POLITICAL ARRA

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5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NOI

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[December 18.]

1912

SECTION 3.

X

[50651]

(No. 471.) Sir,

No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received December 18.)

Peking, November 30, 1911. THE Chinese Postal Service, which, as previously reported, was separated from the Customs and handed over to the control of the Board of Communications some six months ago, has been greatly disorganised by the present revolutionary movement, and the Postmaster-General, M. Piry, has on several occasions represented to me the great difficulties which he is likely to experience in carrying on the administration. The greater part of the country is in the hands of the rebel Government, who are naturally jealous of the transmission of intelligence by a foreign agency over which they exercise no control, and in many places the rebels have taken the charge of the post-office into their own hands.

A greater difficulty, however, which confronts the postal administration in common with many other departments of the Chinese Government is the lack of funds. As long as the service was under the control of the inspector-general it was financed largely out of customs revenue, and it appears that the continuance of this arrangement was sanctioned by an Imperial decree issued at the time of the separation. The grant of 320,000 taels (44,8331.) per annum has now ceased, and M. Piry recently addressed to me as doyen a letter (copy enclosed), in which he appealed to the diplomatic body for assistance in tiding over the present crisis.

While this letter was being circulated amongst my colleagues, the French chargé d'affaires informed me that he had succeeded in making an arrangement which would remove the financial difficulty under which the postal administration was labouring. I understood M. Picot to say that the Banque de l'Indo-Chine had undertaken to advance the funds necessary to finance the postal service until some settled form of Government was re-established in China, and, at the joint request of my French colleague and of M. Piry, I agreed to withdraw the circular.

I have, &c.

J. N. JORDAN.

[2289

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ECEIVED

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4 JAN 1912,

POLIT

* Not printed.

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NOI

هل

so. x

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

P #341

[December 1.]

CONFIDENTIAL.

1912

SECTION 4.

[48133]

No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received December 1.)

(No. 315.) (Telegraphic.) R.

MY telegram No. 313 of 30th November.

Peking, December 1, 1911.

May 100 men be sent by steamer on Tuesday morning? River soon closing.

[48058]

(No. 187.)

No 2.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, December 1, 1911

(Telegraphic.) R.

YOUR telegram No. 314 of 1st December: Signature of armistice. Your action entirely approved.

[2289 a-4]

IN

JAN 1912

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5 JAN 1912 SECRETARY'S N

A

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[50650]

341 1912

[December 18.]

SECTION 4.

No. 1.

(No. 470.)

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received December 18.)

Sir,

Peking, November 30, 1911. I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith copy of a telegram sent by the revolutionary Government of Kwangtung, informing the diplomatic body at Peking of the establishment of "The Military Government of Kwangtung."

The telegram further states that foreigners are being protected, and that the district is as quiet as usual, expresses a pious wish for the consolidation of friendly relations, and concludes with a request that the contents of the telegram may be brought to the notice of the various foreign Governments.

The state of the Canton and West Rivers, where piracy is so rampant as to have necessitated the temporary suspension of the steamer service from Hong Kong and the patrolling of the West River by His Majesty's ships (see my telegram No. 311 of the 29th November), does not confirm the assurance that the region is quiet.

I have, &c.

J. N. JORDAN.

Enclosure in No. 1.

Translation of Telegram addressed to the Diplomatic Body from Canton.

November 21, 1911.

THE military Government of Kwangtung has now been established and every possible protection is being extended to the subjects of all nations residing in the province. The district is as quiet as usual. We are very anxious to consolidate friendly relations and that we should all equally enjoy the blessings of peace. We pray that the various foreign Governments may be informed in the above sense. -HU HAN-MING, Military Governor (Tu Tu) of Kwangtung.

[2289 $-4]

RECEIVED

IN

4 JAN 1912,

COLTHEAL YO

COLITICAL

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

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P 341

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

[November 29.]

1912

i

CONFIDENTIAL.

SECTION 5.

[47830]

No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received November 29.)

(No. 311.) (Telegraphic.) R.

Peking, November 29, 1911.

REVIVAL of piracy on West River. Consul-general at Canton has, with my approval, arranged with British naval authorities for patrol of river by one torpedo-boat destroyer, three torpedo-boats, and usual river flotilla, which should enable British steam-ship services to be resumed.

I am instructing consul to demand from de facto administration punishment of offenders and reparation for murder of mate of Chinese customs-vessel flying British flag, if he was a British subject.

[2248 ƒƒ—5]

IN

4 JAN 1912

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NOI

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

341

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

1912

[December 1.]

CONFIDENTIAL.

SECTION 5.

[48075]

(No. 432.) Sir,

No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received December 1.)

Peking, November 11, 1911.

IN continuation of my despatch No. 410 of the 25th ultimo on the subject of the telegraph companies' loan to the Ministry of Communications, I have the honour to report that as the political situation developed in seriousness the anxiety of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company increased regarding the payment of the second instalment of the loan.

On the 29th October the company's manager in China informed me by telegraph that the Chinese Telegraph Administration had, under orders from the Ministry of Communications, requested the companies by letter to pay the second instalment to the credit of the administration with the International Bank in London. Mr. Skottowe desired to know whether in my opinion the administration's letter was sufficient authority for the payment.

I replied in the affirmative, but two days later Mr. Skottowe, in view of the serious rumours prevalent in Shanghai as to the state of affairs in Peking, again sent an urgent enquiry, asking whether I still considered that the payment should be made. Before replying I enquired of Mr. Skottowe on what grounds he considered that a refusal to pay could be based. Mr, Bullard-who had in the meantime resumed his post as manager-stated that the suggested ground of refusal would be that the Government with which the loan agreement was made had in effect ceased to exist.

To this I felt constrained to reply that I could not agree that a Government with which I was in daily official relations had ceased to exist, and on the 2nd instant Mr. Bullard informed me that the second instalment had been duly paid, at the same time enquiring whether I considered it advisable to inform the Wai-wu Pu of this fact. replied that such a step seemed unnecessary, in view of the fact that the loan agreement itself formed a sufficient record of the Chinese obligation.

I

As I had the honour to point out in my preceding despatch on this subject above referred to, there is nothing in the agreement which entitles the companies to postpone payment of the loan, and to have attempted any postponement on the only ground suggested by the manager of the Eastern Extension Company would, in my opinion, have been a serious reflection on British good faith, and such a step, being unjustifiable on both moral and legal grounds, could only have reacted to the eventual detriment of the lenders.

R.

IN

4 JAN 1912.

I have, &c.

J. N. JORDAN.

[2289 a-5]

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NOI

Х

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

X

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[49859]

(No. 208.)

341

[December 12.]

1912

SECTION 5.

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, December 12, 1911. (Telegraphic.) P.

HONG KONG and Shanghai Bank are being informed that the acquiescence of the revolutionaries is a conditio sine quâ non of any advance to Yuan Shih-kai.

With regard to the question of the payment of loan coupons in the event of default, the four banking groups consider that that assistance, if given, should be directed to the prevention of default on existing loans and thus be to the advantage of whichever side succeeds in ultimately establishing itself in power in China.

[49856]

No. 2.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

(No. 209.)

(Telegraphic.) P.

Foreign Office, December 12, 1911. REBELS and contraband at Nanking. Telegram No. 145 from commander-in- chief to Admiralty.

Please let me have your views by telegraph. To concede right of search to the rebels would seem tantamount to a recognition of belligerency.

IN

[2289 m-5]

4 JAN 1912

POITT

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[December 18.]

1912

SECTION 5.

No. 1.

X

[50656]

(No. 476.) Šir,

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received December 18.)

Peking, December 1, 1911. WITH reference to my despatch No. 456 of the 23rd ultimo I have the honour to transmit herewith copies of two despatches, dated the 16th and 20th November respectively, which I have received from His Majesty's consul at Nanking relative to the situation in that city.

I telegraphed to you on the 27th November the fact of Mr. Wilkinson's safe exit from Nanking. This news was received through wireless telegraphy between His Since then communication has been Majesty's ship "Newcastle" and Shanghai. even more precarious than before. His Majesty's consul-general telegraphed yesterday that he had received no information at all from the British authorities at Nanking for two days since the hulks and men-of-war moved away at the request of the revolutionary general so as to facilitate the bombardment of the city by the rebel fleet. I should add that I believe Mr. Wilkinson to be on board one of the hulks.

Mr. Fraser also states that a British subject who left Nanking on the 29th November reports that the city is surrounded on three sides by the revolutionary forces, and that Wu Ting-fang confirms the statement that half the troops at Lion Hill, the strategic point occupied by General Chang Hsun within the city, are sworn revolutionaries, so that their fire is harmless. Doctor Wu said that it was desired to do as little damage as possible, hence the slowness of the rebel operations; but it was expected to take the city very shortly, apparently by assault viâ Hsia Kuan. The Viceroy and the tartar-general are reported to have taken refuge with the Japanese consul, who is now the only consul left in Nanking.

The keenest interest is taken here in the fate of Nanking, which is likely to prove one of the determining factors in the political situation.

I have, &c.

J. N. JORDON.

* Nanking (No. 38), 16th November; Ditto (No. 39), 20th November, 1911.

[2289 s-5]

JORDAN.

RECETTER IN

4 JAN 1912,

POLITIS

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NOI

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

P 341

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

1912

[November 7.]

CONFIDENTIAL.

SECTION 6.

[44137]

(Confidential.) Sir,

No. 1.

Admiralty to Foreign Office.-(Received November 7.)

Admiralty, November 7, 1911. I AM commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit herewith, for the information of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a copy of a telegram of to-day's date received from the Commander-in-chief, China, in continuation of his telegram No. 121 of the 3rd instant, forwarded to you on the same date, respecting the suggested dispatch of troops to Shanghai. My Lords consider that in view of the Commander-in-chief's telegrams troops should be ordered to be in readiness at Hong Kong and transport provided, in order that they may be sent instantly to Shanghai to take the place of any men it is found necessary to land from the fleet, who would thus only be landed in case of urgent necessity pending the arrival of the troops. My Lords would be glad to be informed if Sir Edward Grey concurs in this proposal, and until a reply is received they will defer communicating with the War Office and Colonial Office.

I have, &c.

W. GRAHAM GREENE.

Enclosure in No. 1.

(Telegraphic.)

Cammander-in-chief, China, to Admiralty.

November 7, 1911.

WUSUNG fort at Shanghai has been taken by rebels, who have distributed This will certainly arms and ammunition from the arsenal to their adherents. lead to trouble. I am convinced that a request will soon be made for men to be landed, and parties have already been disembarked from United States and French I should be ships. If men are landed from our cruisers the fleet will be disabled. glad to be informed of Admiralty's wishes on this point, and, pending the receipt of a Revolution is apparently reply, have ordered the "Monmouth" to remain at Wusung. spreading rapidly.

[2248 g--6]

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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

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41

[November 28.]

SECTION 7.

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

1912

[46928]

(No. 182.)

(Telegraphic.) P.

No. 1.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, November 28, 1911. COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S telegram No. 135 of the 24th November and your telegram No. 291 of the 20th November: Troops for Hankow.

Do your objections to sending soldiers apply equally to dispatch of marines, if latter are available?

Should they not do so, I will ask the Admiralty to sanction the proposal.

[2248 ee-7]

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JAN 1912,

COPY TO INDIA

5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

х

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

P 341

[December 4.]

1912

SECTION 7.

No. 1.

[48588]

(No. 320.)

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.-(Received December 4.)

(Telegraphic.) R.

MY telegram No. 301 of 25th November.

Peking, December 4, 1911.

Foreign representatives have agreed to submit proposal for approval of their Governments.

[48647]

(No. 193.)

No. 2.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

Foreign Office, December 4, 1911.

(Telegraphic.) R.

MY telegram No. 191 of 2nd December.

The troops, to number of 160 all told, leave Hong Kong to-morrow. Repeat to Tokyo.

[48286]

No. 3.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir J. Jordan.

(Telegraphic.) R.

Foreign Office, December 4, 1911.

(No. 194.)

YOUR telegram No. 316 of 2nd December.

Your action approved. It would be well to forward Chang to neutral destination as soon as conveniently possible, should he take refuge in the consulate-general.

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POLIT

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

X

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

341 1912

[December 4.]

SECTION 8.

[48137]

No. 1.

Foreign Office to Colonial Office.

Sir,

Foreign Office, December 4, 1911. I AM directed by Secretary Sir E. Grey to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 1st instant on the subject of the landing of Dr. Sun Yat Sen in Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements.

I am to state that Sir E. Grey concurs in the instructions which Mr. Harcourt proposes to send to the Officer administering the Government of the Straits Settlements, as set forth in paragraph 4 of your letter under reply.

I am, &c.

F. A. CAMPBELL.

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SECRETARY'S NO I

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

341

1912

[November S.]

SECTION 9.

[44137]

(Confidential.) Sir,

No. 1.

Foreign Office to Admiralty.

November 8, 1911. I AM directed by Secretary Sir E Grey to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th inst., and to state, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that he concurs in the proposal that troops should be ordered to be in readiness at Hong Kong and transport provided in order that they may be sent instantly to Shanghai to take the place of any men it is found necessary to land from the fleet, who would only be landed in case of urgent necessity pending the arrival of the troops.

His Majesty's Minister at Peking has been informed by telegraph that Sir E. Grey has expressed his concurrence owing to the urgency of the matter, but has been requested to furnish his views.

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RECEIVED IN

4 JAN 1912:

I am, &c.

F. A. CAMPBELL.

COPY TO INDIA 5 JAN 1912

SECRETARY'S NO I

X

[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]

x

AFFAIRS OF CHINA.

CONFIDENTIAL.

[November 27.]

41

1912

SECTION 10.

No

[47280]

Sir J. Jordan to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received November 27.)

(No. 428.) Sir,

Peking, November 8, 1911. YOU are aware from my telegram No. 239 of the 22nd ultimo, and from my despatch No. 409 of the following day, that circumstances have obliged the consular body at Hankow to enter to a certain extent into relations with the rebel leaders.

On the 22nd October the senior consul at Hankow telegraphed that the commander- in-chief of the rebel army had communicated to the consuls a list of goods which would be considered as contraband, and which, if discovered, would be confiscated together with the ship carrying them. The consuls stated that questions daily arose which required discussion with the revolutionary authorities, and that it seemed impossible to avoid official relations with them, although it was understood that the question of recognising the Military Government should not be raised. They proposed to take note of General Li's communication regarding contraband, and refer it to their Ministers at Peking. In circulating this telegram, copy of which I have the honour to enclose, I expressed to my colleagues my personal opinion that the rebel general had no power whatever to confiscate foreign ships carrying such articles, and that all goods the import of which was not prohibited by treaty could be conveyed freely in foreign vessels to Hankow. It became, however, a question whether, in the general interests of foreign life and property at Hankow and elsewhere in China, it was advisable to insist on the full enforcement of treaty rights in the exceptional circumstances which now obtained in the Yang-tsze valley. In view of the fact that the rebel leader was de facto ruler of the city and that a resort to force might be necessary to make good the right to convey munitions of war, &c., to Hankow, I was prepared, for my part, to advise British shipping companies temporarily to abstain from this trade until the situation became clearer.

On the 24th October you were good enough to approve by telegram the instructions which I had sent to Mr. Goffe in the above sense.

At a meeting held by the foreign representatives on the 28th October the general feeling was that the first duty of the consular body was to safeguard the tranquillity of the concessions, and that if, with this object in view, the consular body considered that they were obliged to enter into relations with the rebe's, the diplomatic body could certainly not disapprove that proceeding. The consuls, however, could alone decide whether it was indispensable. A telegram, copy of which I have the honour to enclose, was accordingly dispatched to the senior consul the following day.

I have since received from the acting consul-general a despatch covering copies of correspondence with the rebel general on the subject. The latter encloses a list of the articles which he holds to be contraband of war, and which, as the Crown Advocate points out in his memorandum (copy enclosed), is a wide one. The general's presumption that the consuls have accorded his forces the status of belligerents is not, so far as I know, warranted by the facts, and I have informed Mr. Goffe that it does not appear to me desirable to recognise it at present, since such recognition would justify a protest from the Chinese Government. This opinion is not, however, shared by the Crown Advocate.

Another matter which caused some concern was the position in which the conces- sions would be placed when hostilities reached the city of Hankow itself. The accom- panying copy of a telegram (Enclosure 8) from the senior consul stated that the consular body unanimously endorsed the opinion of Vice-Admiral Sir A. L. Winsloe that it was absolutely necessary for the safety of the concessions that they should be extended to the railway line, and that the Chinese living on the intervening land should be evicted. This was subsequently supplemented by a suggestion of the Japanese consul-general that a similar extension should be added along the river-side to the extremity of the Japanese concession. At the meeting of the 28th October the Japanese Minister proposed that we should demand the extension from the Wai-wu Pu, but it was pointed out that the Imperial troops had recovered the city, and the question was therefore no longer a pressing one.

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It was inevitable, when once the movement had developed into a state of war, that difficulties should arise in regard to the rights as neutrals of the subjects of the treaty Powers. There has been some firing, probably both intentional and unintentional, on foreign shipping by rebel guns, and a British tug, which was towing two barges loaded with military stores for the Imperialists, was interfered with, but I have so far only received very brief telegraphic reports of these occurrences. Our principal object has been to guard as far as possible against any restriction of the normal trading business of foreign shipping firms. and it was with this object in view that we have refused a request of the Wai-wu Pu that foreign ships should only be allowed at present to call at the larger ports on the river, in order, apparently, that the movements of the revolu- tionaries might be the better controlled. Copies of the correspondence on this subject are enclosed herewith.

A despatch from His Majesty's consul-general at Shanghai warned me that it was not impossible that certain British subjects might take an opportunity of indulging their taste for military adventure, and, by my instructions, a notification has been issued, both there and at Tien-tsin, calling attention to article 71 of the order in

council of 1904.

I have, &c.

J. N. JORDAN.

Enclosure 1 in No. 1.

Telegram received from the Imperial Russian Consul-General at Hankow,

October 22, 1911.

GENERAL LI communicated to the consuls a list of goods which will be con- sidered as contraband of war, and informed that he intends to confiscate ships carrying such goods. The British admiral expressed the opinion that he has not the right to object. In consequence the consular body decided to inform General Li, by an English note written in the third person, that the said body take notice of the above communi- cation, and address themselves for instructions to the Ministers in Peking. In general the consular body do not consider possible to avoid all the intercourse with General Li, as the Government authorities have fled, and the power is practically in the hands of the above-named general. Therefore, as daily there are different questions which must be settled with the local authorities without any delay, the consular body cannot avoid entering in business relations with General Li. It is understood that the question of recognising the temporary Government shall not be raised. Instructions are requested.

Enclosure 2 in No. 1.

Diplomatic Body to Dean of Consular Body.

(Télégramme secret.)

Le 29 octobre, 1911. LE corps diplomatique a décidé que le premier devoir du corps consulaire est de sauvegarder la tranquillité des concessions et des étrangers, et que si dans ce but corps consulaire croit devoir entrer dans des relations de fait avec les rebelles le corps diplomatique ne pourrait certes pas désapprouver ces démarches, mais le corps consulaire seul peut juger si elles sont absolument indispensables.

le

Enclosure 3 in No. 1.

Acting Consul-General Goffe to Sir J. Jordan.

(No. 99.) Sir,

Hankow, October 21, 1911. I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith copy and translation of two despatches which I have received from the revolutionary general on the subject of contraband. The matter was discussed at a meeting of the consular body this afternoon, and, as we heard that the general was somewhat annoyed at our continued refusal to recognise him in any way, it was decided that the senior consul should acknowledge the receipt of these two despatches on behalf of the consular body. I enclose a copy of the communication

3

sent by the senior consul, which was written only in English, and accompanied by his foreign visiting card.

The revolutionary leader is establishing his position more firmly every day, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore him.

I have, &c.

H. GOFFE.

Enclosure 4 in No. 1.

General Li to Acting Consul-General Goffe.

(Translation.) Sir,

October 18, 1911.

I HAVE the honour to inform you that our soldiers have driven back the Manchu army which was encamped at Liu Chia Miao. I have now the honour to request you to strictly forbid British officials, merchants, and people to sell to the enemy, in contra- vention of international law, any of the articles mentioned in the attached list, which are hereby declared contraband.

I have, &c.

(Seal of Li, General of the Hupeh army of the Military Government of the Chinese Republic.)

List of Contraband Articles.

Military arms, ammunition, shell, and material for making same, such as lead, saltpetre, sulphur, &c., materials for fortifications, and cement, clothes and accoutre- ments for soldiers and sailors, armour plate, materials for building or repairing ships, food and drink, bedding, and like material, horses, saddlery, fodder, carts, lime and similar materials, timber, telegraph and telephone apparatus, and materials for railway building.

Enclosure 5 in No. 1.

Commander-in-chief of the Army of Hupeh of the Republic of China to Acting Consul-General Goffe.

Wuchang, October 20, 1911.

(Translation.) Sir,

I HAVE the honour to convey to you the expression of the deep sense of gratitude entertained towards you by the Military Government for the impartial attitude adopted by you during hostilities existing between the Military and Manchu Governments in recognising us as belligerents, and in proclaiming your neutrality.

I have already had the honour to request you to prevent your nationals of all ranks from selling to the enemy articles regarded as contraband of war, and I have no doubt that you will assent to this request.

In the arrangements which have already taken place my forces have invariably been successful, and the Manchu army has already beaten a retreat. It may therefore be expected that the foreign concessions will remain undamaged, a fact which, I think, cannot fail to relieve you of all anxiety. If, however, the rendering of assistance to the enemy by means of persons or letters is not strictly forbidden, the Manchu army may take advantage of the circumstances to renew disturbances, which, under present conditions, would be a source of inconvenience both to you and my Government.

I have the honour, therefore, to request that you will issue stringent instructions that no British steamers, men-of-war, or any of your nationals shall, in any circum- stances, send or carry men or letters for the use of the enemy, in accordance with the rules of international law, otherwise my forces will have no alternative but to seize such persons sent and confiscate any letters so carried as a means of self-defence.

I avail, &c.

(Seal of the Commander-in-chief of the Army of Hupeh of the Republic of China.)

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Enclosure 6 in No. 1.

Senior Consul to General Li.

THE senior consul presents his compliments to the general officer commanding at Wuchang, and begs to acknowledge, on behalf of the consular body, the receipt of his letters of the 18th and the 20th, on the subject of contraband. The requests contained therein have been brought to the knowledge of the subjects of the treaty Powers resident in Hankow, and the matter will be referred to the Foreign Ministers in Peking for their consideration.

The senior consul trusts that the general officer commanding in Wuchang will use his best endeavours to have telegraphic communication with Peking and Shanghai restored, so that the consuls of the treaty Powers can communicate with their respective Governments.

October 21, 1911.

Enclosure 7 in No. 1.

Memorandum on Wuchang Revolutionaries' Claim to Recognition as Belligerents.

THE rising at Wuchang cannot be considered merely as civil disturbance or riot on a large scale. The correct view, I think, is the one already taken by the consular body at Hankow, and presumably by the representatives of the Powers at Peking, namely, that part or parts of China are in organised revolt against the Central Government.

Warlike proceedings have, so far as regards the subjects of the treaty Powers, been conducted with propriety and in accordance with the rules of war.

Under such circumstances the commander-in-chief of the revolting forces, and any provisional de facto Government established in the revolted provinces, capable of preserving public order and of maintaining civilised relations with outside Powers, are entitled to recognition of a state of belligerency. The recognition of belligerency is, under the circumstances, I think, the duty of neutral Powers. Such recognition does not at all involve ultimate recognition of independence of the revolted provinces as a separate sovereign State. Such recognition of independence is only, in practice, granted after assured success on the part of the revolutionary forces and a readjustment of relations between the new Government and neutral States; such, for instance, as provision for the acceptance of outstanding obligations and the due performance of existing treaties, or their replacement by other treaties acceptable to the Powers concerned. In the present case there is a very strong reason for the exercise of the strictest neutrality. Any assistance rendered publicly or privately to the belligerents, or winked at, would endanger the lives and property of Europeans scattered all over China, whose safety, during the troublous times which must follow the ultimate success of the Central Government or the revolutionaries, depends upon the attitude of their respective home Governments and the conduct of their fellow-nationals. The list of articles which the commander of the revolutionary forces at Wuchang claims a right to consider as contraband of war is, in my opinion, unnecessarily large. I would suggest that contraband articles, under the circumstances, should be held to cover merely munitions of war, coal for belligerent ships, and food or clothing consigned to or ultimately intended for the use of belligerent forces.

Shanghai, October 26, 1911.

Enclosure 8 in No. 1.

H. C. WILKINSON.

Telegram of the Imperial Russian Consul-General at Hankow, dated October 21, delivered at Peking October 24, 1911.

ON to-day's meeting of the consular body the British consul-general declared that the British Admiral Winsloe is of opinion that it is absolutely necessary for the safety of the concessions to enlarge their limits as far as the railway line, and to evacuate the Chinese living at present on this slice of land. This declaration met the unanimous approval of the consular body, who decided, when the situation becomes clearer, to bring the matter to the consideration of the Ministers in Peking.

Sir,

5

Enclosure 9 in No. 1.

Prince Ch'ing to Sir J. Jordan.

Peking, October 28, 1911. ON the 26th instant I received a despatch from the Ministry of Posts and Communications as follows :-

'

"I have received the following telegram from the Governor-General of Liang Kiang and the Governor of Kiangsi

"The Hupei revolt is very widespread, and the utmost precautions must be taken with respect to the carriage of passengers on steamers between Shanghai and Hankow."

"All steam-ship firms should be informed that steamers may only stop at the larger ports of Kiukiang, Nganking, Wuhu, Nanking, Chinkiang, and Shanghai, and that they may not take on either passengers or goods at any of the smaller ports on the The China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company must also be instructed to comply with these rules. I accordingly request that "the dean of the diplomatic body at Peking be invited to enforce obedience to these instructions."

This proposal of the Ministry of Posts and Communications is due to the present disturbances, in view of which the above plan should most assuredly be put into execution as a temporary measure to facilitate the work of inspection.

I have therefore the honour to request your Excellency to bring these rules to the notice of your honourable colleagues that they may give the necessary instructions for compliance therewith, and so strengthen the bonds of friendship between our respective nations.

I have, &c.

Prince CHING.

Enclosure 10 in No. 1.

Sir J. Jordan to Prince Chʻing.

Your Highness,

November 7, 1911.

I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Highness's note of the 28th October, requesting that, in accordance with rules proposed by the Viceroy of the Liang Kiang and the Governor of Kiangsi, all steam-ship firms should be informed that, in view of the widespread nature of the Hupei rebellion, steamers may only stop at the larger ports of Kiukiang, Wuhu, Nanking, Chinkiang, and Shanghai, and that they may not take on either passengers or goods at any of the smaller ports en route. Your Highness added that the China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company was being instructed to comply with these rules, and you requested that I would bring the same to the notice of my honourable colleagues.

I have the honour to inform your Highness that the above request has been carefully considered by the diplomatic body, who have charged me to reply that the representatives of the Powers regret that they are unable to forbid the steam-ship companies calling at ports where the right is recognised by the treaties, but that they are willing to recommend the companies to take every possible precaution to avoid any intervention in the actual conflict.

I avail, &c.

J. N. JORDAN.