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Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay.

No. 1070.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Pekin, August 16, 1902. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Department instructions No. 541, of the 2d ultimo, concerning complaints made by certain Chinese residents in Honolulu, Hawaii, against the actions of the Chinese consul there stationed, and the consequent vicarious punishment of their relations in China.

I have, as directed, brought the matter to the attention of the Chi. nese Government by the note a copy of which I inclose, and shall report its answer as soon as received.

This vicarious punishment of the relatives of accused Chinese, escaped or in hiding, is an ancient practice and still very generally followed here, but so barbarous and inhuman that it ought to be stopped. I am glad to be asked to take it up on behalf of citizens of the United States. I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

(Inclosure.]

Mr. Conger to Prince Ch’ing. F. O., No. 413.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, August 14, 1902. Your HIGHNESS: I have received instructions from my Government, through the honorable Secretary of State, to bring to the notice of your highness certain complaints from Chinese residents at Honolulu, citizens of the United States of America, who sent a petition last March to the Department of State, making the following accusation against Mr. Yang Wei-pin, Chinese consul at Honolulu:

That a certain Lam Sai, having fallen under the displeasure of the consul, the latter reported Lam Sai to a tao-tai in Kwangtung Province, China, as being revolutionary and holding opinions adverse to the Government of China, in consequence of which report Lam Sai's mother and grandmother, residing, in Kwangtung, were arrested and imprisoned, and that while so incarcerated the mother committed suicide and the grandmother died.

That the said consul has in several similar cases reported the supposed antidespotic belief entertained by Chinese residents of Hawaii, with the result of similar hardships to their innocent relatives in China.

That the said consul has instituted a form of certificate which Chinese residents were called on to procure from him, for which he made a charge of $5.25 each, such certificate declaring that the holder was a good man and not a member of any secret society antagonistic to the Chinese Government.

That said consul unreasonably increased the charge for a certificate which warranted the late Government in issuing a permit for a wife or female relative or child or resident Chinese to come to Hawaii" from the old charge of $2 to $11 and $12.50.

That said consul makes a charge of $20 for a certificate extending the United States laborer's certificate one year for alleged sickness of the holder.

That said consul has caused dissensions and created suspicion among the Chinese in Hawaii.

Wherefore the petitioners ask that these charges be inquired into and if found to be true that said consul's exequatur be recalled.

In a separate communication Wong Leong declares that the said consul reported to the governor of the province of Kwangtung that he (Wong) was disloyal to the Government of China and a member of a society in Honolulu antagonistic to said Government; that thereupon the Government caused the district magistrate to send a force to Wong's native village, which took possession of the ancestral temple of his family and demanded from the family various sums, which were paid under coercion to save their property from destruction and themselves from imprisonment.

Wherefore the said Wong demands from the Government of China for the loss sustained and the suffering and anguish caused by the barbarous actions of Consul Yang Wei-pin the sum of $5,000. And he asks the Department of State to make request of the Government of China for payment thereof.

Copies of these petitions were sent to the governor of Hawaii, with the request that he inquire carefully into the truth of the charges made against the consul and inform the Department of the result of his investigation.

Acting Governor Cooper personally examined petitioners and found that the feeling of discontent against the consul at Honolulu was confined to the Bow Wong Progressive Association, and to a certain extent to some people outside of the Bow Wongs.

The acting governor in his report says:

“My conclusion, based upon the statements submitted and upon a general inquiry into the matter, is that the complaints made by Wong Leong and Lam Sai are true. The Bow Wong society was looked upon as a seditious organization and every effort was made by the Chinese authorities, acting through the consul, to suppress it, and the usual method was adopted to intimidate the Chinese residents in Honolulu from participating in any way in the revolutionary movement. The most formidable way of reaching the Chinese who are residents in a foreign country, is to punish the members of their families in China, which is recognized as a very powerful weapon in the hands of the Government officials."

Your highness will observe that citizens of the United States, Wong Leong, Ng Fawn, and Lam Sai, have been vicariously punished for alleged political offenses committed within the United States. These political offenses appear to consist in their alleged membership of a society engaged in the dissemination of a propaganda unfavorable to the Chinese Government and promotive of a revolutionary movement.

Under the law of nations a state has the undoubted right to punish all political offenders against it who may be apprehended within its jurisdiction, but no state has the right to punish such offenders as may have found asylum in another state otherwise than by the seizure and confiscation of the property of the offenders if such punishment is authorized by the local laws.

The vicarious punishment of such offenses by the imposition of fines and imprisonment upon the innocent kinsmen of the offender is a species of moral torture not only inconsistent with the enlightened principles and humane sentiments which govern the conduct of civilized states, but is a form of coercion incompatible with the enjoyment of the recognized rights of asylum, and in which, as applied to the citizens of the United States, this Government could not acquiesce. It is not the question of the right of the Chinese Government to punish all offenders against its laws who may be found within its border, but it is the question of the punishment of citizens of the United States in a cruel manner through heavy penalties inflicted upon persons who are, in the eye of the international law and upon principles of abstract justice, innocent of any offense whatever.

Therefore, complying with my instructions, I hasten to present this grave matter for the serious consideration of the Imperial Government, and to express to your highness the expectation of my Government that the Chinese Government will take such prompt action as will adequately respond to the sentiments of justice and humanity which have inspired the Government of the United States in bringing it to the attention of the Chinese Government.

This is very important to China, particularly at a time when she is enlarging and making more intimate her friendly relations with the other governments of the world. I avail, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1084.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, September 9, 1902. Sir: Referring to my No. 1070, of August 16, concerning the complaint made by certain Chinese, citizens of the United States, in Honolulu, against the Chinese consul there, and the vicarious punishment of their relatives in China, resulting from his actions, I inclose further correspondence with the foreign oflice, and have the honor, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

[Inclosure 1.)

Prince Ch’ing to Mr. Conger. Your EXCELLENCY: I am in receipt of your excellency's dispatch with reference to certain complaints from Lam Sai and Wong Liong, Chinese residents at Honolulu, citizens of the United States of America, who sent a petition to the Department of State making accusation against Mr. Yang Wei-pin, Chinese consul at Honolulu.

That the American Government instructed the governor of Hawaii to inquire carefully into the truth of the charges and inform the Department of the result of his investigation.

That the acting governor carefully examined petitioners and found their testimony true.

Further, that complainants and others were members of the Bow Wong Society, which was looked upon as a seditious organization, but that the Consul Yang Wei-pin adopted a method of suppression which punished the friends and relatives in China for those (suspects) abroad; in other words, by coercion.

In complying with instructions, your excellency requests the Chinese Government to take such prompt action as will adequately respond to the sentiments of justice and humanity.

The foreign office has already sent the contents of the above dispatch, accusing Consul Yang Wei-pin, to His Excellency Wu (Ting-fang), Chinese minister in your honorable country, to examine and deal with it in a just and reliable manner.

As in duty bound, I send this reply for your excellency's information.
A necessary dispatch.
Dated Kuanghsu, twenty-eighth year, seventh moon, 25th day (August 28, 1902).

[Inclosure 2.)

Mr. Conger to Prince Ch’ing.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Pekins, August 30, 1902. Your HIGHNESS: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a dispatch from your highness, dated the 25th of the seventh moon, in which your highness states that the complaints against Consul Yang Wei-pin have been referred to His Excellency Wu Ting-fang for investigation, and that he would deal with the case.

With reference to this subject, I beg to remark that dealing with the complaints against Consul Yang Wei-pin is a small matter as compared with the far more serious question of vicarious punishment.

Your highness will note in my letter of August 14, 1902, that I specially emphasized this point of vicarious punishment of offenses by the imposition of fines and imprisonment upon innocent kinsmen of the offenders, and that it is a species of moral torture, not only inconsistent with the conduct of civilized states, but that it is a form of coercion incompatible with the enjoyment of the recognized rights of asylum.

No civilized state would permit resort to vicarious punishment. It is therefore not a question of what His Excellency Wu Ting-fang can do, but what the Central Government will do to prevent the officials throughout the Empire from committing such outrages.

As China is endeavoring to be counted in the comity of nations, her Government should alter and adapt her laws so as to be in harmony with the laws of the great nations of the world, which do not countenance vicarious punishment.

I can only reiterate the hope that the Chinese Government will speedily take up this important question and consider it in the same light which prompted the United States Government to draw attention to the question. I would avail myself, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

[Inclosure 3.]

Prince Ch'ing to Mr. Conger. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 29th of the seventh moon (September 1) of your excellency's dispatch relating to the case of the charges preferred against the consul to Hawaii by Chinese who are naturalized citizens of the United States; that an examination of the affair of the charges shows that, however small, it has caused innocent relatives of the guilty parties to suffer very severe punishment vicariously, and your excellency asks whether or not our Government can instruct the officials of the various provinces to abstain from further employment of these severe measures, and hopes that attention may be given to the matter, and that in accordance with the kindly sentiments of your Government the law permitting vicarious punishment may be revised, etc.

Our board has examined and finds that the Chinese code has no statute as to vicarious punishments and that the principles of justice and humanity are the same as in other lands. In compliance with your excellency's dispatch we have already instructed the viceroy of the Two Kuang and the governor of Kuangtung to command the local officials that hereafter they will not be permitted to subject the families of Chinese who have gone abroad to harsh treatment, which is strictly in accordance with the sentiments expressed by your honorable Government.

As in duty bound, we send this reply for your excellency's perusal.
Kuanghsu, twenty-eighth year, eighth moon, 4th day (September 5, 1902).

Mr. Adee to Mr. Conger. No. 569.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, September 27, 1902. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 1070, of the 16th ultimo, in regard to the complaints made by certain Chinese residents in Honolulu against the actions of the Chinese consul there and the consequent vicarious punishment of their relatives in China.

Your note on this subject, addressed to the Chinese Government in compliance with instructions No. 541, of July 2, is approved by the Department. I am, etc.,

ALVEY A. ADEE,

Acting Secretary.

DECREE DISARMING NATIVES OF CHIHLI.

Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay. No. 1033.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, July 2, 1902. Sir: Inclosed please find translation of a proclamation issued by Governor Yuan Shih-k’ai, on the 1st instant, concerning the carrying of arms by private citizens, and enjoining all Chinese, both Christians and non-Christians, to avoid trouble and live in peace together. I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER,

[Inclosure.-Translated from Chihli Gazette dated July 1, 1902.)

Proclamation by Yuan Shih-k’ai, Pao ting fu. Yuan, junior guardian of the heir apparent, president of the board of war, president of the censorate, and viceroy of Chihli, issues this proclamation for the information of the people.

The private possession of weapons has hitherto been forbidden by law.

In 1900, during the time of trouble, a good many weapons were left among the people, to the injury of various localities.

Some time ago I laid down clear rules for giving up such arms. In case any train bands are still in possession of weapons, and have not complied with the law, they must at once do so, and give them up to prevent trouble.

As to native Christians in possession of munitions of war, they must also deliver them up. No private individual will be permitted to carry weapons about his person in order to disarm suspicion and avoid trouble.

Year before last the Boxers caused disturbances, killing, plundering; but these are now old scores which should not be raked up.

Aside from instructing all under my jurisdiction to comply with the above orders, I put out this proclamation, hoping that the gentry and people will take note of this and comply.

Hereafter the people and the Christians must not seek to retaliate against each other, or accuse each other, and bring on further trouble, but be forever at peace with each other.

Tremble and obey!

MONOPOLY OF CAMPHOR TRADE IN FUKIEN GRANTED TO A

JAPANESE COMPANY.

Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay. No. 1067.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, August 11, 1902. Sir: In reference to the monopoly of the camphor trade in the province of Fukien, concerning which Consul Fesler has already given you the detailed facts, I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of all

the correspondence had with the legation in relation thereto.

The regulations appear nominally to provide for a Chinese board only, yet the details as set forth therein practically grant a monopoly to the Japanese expert and the Japanese company which furnishes the money.

On the 22d ultimo, I telegraphed Mr. Fesler to file a protest, referring to Article XIV of the French treaty of 1858, which provides:

Henceforth no specially privileged commercial association shall be allowed to establish itself in China, and this applies also to all combinations organized for the purpose of exercising a commercial monopoly. In case of contravention of this article, the Chinese authorities will, at the instance of the consul or consular agent, devise means to dissolve combinations of this nature, whose formation moreover they shall try to prevent by previous prohibitions, in order to avoid everything which might be prejudicial to free competition.

To-day I am in receipt of his dispatch saying he has done so. I shall forward, as soon as received, a copy of his protest and reply, and await your instructions. I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

[Inclosure 1.)

Mr. Fesler to Mr. Conger. No. 35.]

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

Amoy, China, June 14, 1902. Sir: Referring to your No. 1453, of the 13th ultimo, regarding the granting to a Japanese of a monopoly of the camphor trade in the Fukien Province, I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of the regulations of the Fukien camphor board and the expert agreement recently signed by the taotai and Japanese consul at Amoy.

Since the agreement was signed the expert has returned to Japan presumably to secure the amount of money he has to pay to the viceroy under the agreement. The regulations, therefore, will not be enacted until his return.

Taotai Yen, of Amoy, has been appointed controller of this newly established board.

Trusting that I shall have the benefit of your instructions in the premises, I have, etc.,

John H. FESLER, Consul.

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