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light, gas, water, and fire-department protection. If, therefore, a Chinese municipality be established on that side of the international settlement, it will check the growth of the international settlement, and thus do great damage to the interests involved. I am instructed by my Government, therefore, to protest most emphatically against the establishment of the proposed Chinese municipality at Cha-pei, or at any other place in that vicinity where foreigners have already acquired property. I have the honor to request your imperial highness to instruct the superintendent of trade for the south to refrain from establishing the municipality proposed, as such an act can only be construed as one of unfriendliness toward the legitimate foreign interests of Shanghai and hostile to the prosperity of the international settlement.
I avail myself of the occasion to renew to your imperial highness the assurance of my highest consideration.
W. W. RockHILL, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States.
To His Imperial Highness PRINCE OF CH'ING,
President of the Board of Foreign Affairs.
[Inclosure 2 omitted.]
FLOATING MINES IN THE GULF OF PECHILI.
Minister Conger to the Secretary of State. No. 1843.]
Peking, March 29, 1905. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that vessels now arriving at Tongku, Chefoo, and other places very frequently report the presence of floating mines in the ordinary highways of commerce between the northern ports and Shanghai. In a few cases these have been exploded by shooting at them, but in the great majority this has not been possible. Fortunately no serious mishaps have so far resulted from this source of danger; but, to avoid risk, traveling at night has been abandoned in certain localities, and in consequence much time is lost.
It seems to me to be in every way desirable that some effort be made to destroy as many as possible of these mines floating on the high seas; and I venture to suggest that if one or two small naval vessels could be detailed for this purpose the danger to them would not be serious, whereas the benefit
resulting might be very great. I am told that British torpedo boats from Wei-hai-wei have done some work of this kind. The need is a pressing one, and I do not see that the question of susceptibilities would be involved. This, however, could easily be ascertained. I have, etc.,
E. H. CONGER.
Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. No. 172.]
Peking, December 18, 1905. SIR: Referring to legation dispatch No. 1843, of March 28, 1905, with regard to the danger to navigation between Shanghai and northern ports, resulting from the presence of floating mines, I have the
honor to report that on March 30 last the senior consul in Shanghai, at the request of the local chamber of commerce, telegraphed to the doyen of the diplomatic corps asking that the Chinese Government be urged to take some steps to insure the safety of shipping. The doyen thereupon wrote to the foreign office, and in reply was informed that the superintendent of trade for the north has been advised of the matter, and had reported that he had sometime previously sent two vessels to discover and destroy floating mines, and that the same ships would again be dispatched to renew the search.
On October 16 the senior consul again wrote to the doyen of the diplomatic corps inclosing a letter addressed to him by the local municipal council calling attention to the continuance of this dangerous condition as shown by the recent destruction of a steamer through contact with a floating mine, and suggesting that fishermen should be incited by pecuniary rewards to locate and report the presence of these dangers to navigation.
A further representation was then made to the foreign office, in which the suggestion of the municipal council was embodied, and a note to this effect was sent to the senior consul.
The foreign office has sent a preliminary reply to this note, stating that its contents has again been communicated to the superintendent of trade for the north, with a view to suitable action.
As Tientsin and Newchwang are now closed for the winter, the amount of shipping traversing the Gulf of Chihli is very much diminished, and it is hoped that by the time these ports are again open in the spring the efforts of the Chinese Government, aided by natural causes, will have been successful in practically clearing the routes of trade of these very serious dangers to navigation. I have, etc.,
W. W. ROCKHILL.
Consul-General Knappe to the German minister.
(Given in at Shanghai, March 30, 1905–5.25 p. m.) No. 22. Chamber of commerce brings to the notice of the doyen in Peking the danger to navigation between Shanghai and the north owing to the number of mechanical floating mines. The chamber requests to urge the Chinese Government to at once take steps to insure the safety of not only the shipping, but of the lives of those who are engaged in the northern traffic.
The foreign office to the dean of the diplomatic corps. We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's note informing us that you had received a telegram from the consular body at Shanghai to the effect that the chamber of commerce of that city had called attention to the floating mines in the Yellow Sea between Shanghai and the ports in north China, and to the danger to shipping caused thereby; they request, therefore, that measures be taken to protect navigation and prevent loss of life.
Upon receipt of your excellency's note this board telegraphed at once to the superintendent of trade for the north, directing him to order that an investigation be made immediately and that the necessary measures be taken. We have now received a reply from him in which he states that having been previously
informed of the floating mines in the Gulf of Pechili, he had already dispatched the ressels Haichien and Feiying to search for and destroy them, but that he would repeat the orders to the same vessels, and direct that they make a careful search.
It becomes our duty to send this note to your excellency for your information, and we take the opportunity to wish your excellency the compliments of the season.
Third moon, second day (April 6, 1905).
Chairman Andersch to the German consul-general.
Shanghai, October 6, 1905. SIR: There is reason to believe that the track of steamers between Shanghai and the northern ports is studded with explosive mines, and it is the council's opinion that much might be done toward their clearance if representations were made in the proper quarter.
The recent disaster which overtook the steamship Isieh-lo on the 30th ultimo, involving considerable loss of life, is a matter which can not be sufficiently deplored, and I have the honor to suggest, for the consideration of the consular body, the advisability of making representations to the Chinese Government in Peking with a view to the riddance from the seas of this dangerous outcome of the war.
It has been suggested that if pecuniary rewards were offered to the fishermen on the coast who located and were instrumental in conveying information as to the position of floating mines to certain specified ports, arrangements might be made between the Chinese and foreign governments to hold vessels of war in readiness to proceed to the spot indicated with a view to their destruction. If the rewards were sufficiently large, the fishermen would doubtless combine and arrange that one of their number should stand by the mine until assistance arrived. I have, etc.,
(Signed) J. ANDERSCH, Chairman,
[Inclosure 4 ---- Translation. )
The German minister to the Prince of Ch'ing.
NOVEMBER 11, 1905. YOUR IMPERIAL IIICIINESS : On a previous occasion I had the honor to address your imperial highness begging you to instigate effective measures on the part of the Chinese Government to remove the terrible danger to international navi. gation caused by the presence of floating mines in the waters adjacent to the coast of China. Another fine vessel and many lives have recently been lost, falling victims to the scourge.
The senior consul in Shanghai has again had recourse to our interposition, pointing out the menace which these mines offer to navigation between Shanghai and the ports of north China.
My honorable colleagues have joined me in this request. I have, therefore, the honor, in my capacity as doyen of the diplomatic corps, to invite the attention of your inperial highness to the fact that the measures taken, up to the present time, to destroy the mines floating along the coast of China have been insufficient, and that it appears to be most urgent that more effective steps should be ordered.
The business people of Shanghai who are concerned have suggested the idea of interesting the fishermen in the destruction of mines by giving bounties for their discovery. If these bounties were sufficient they might organize small flotillas to search for mines, on the discovery of which some of the boats could remain in the vicinity of the mine while others went to call for the assistance of special vessels or war ships. I avail, etc.,
(Signed) A. V. MUMM.
[Inclosure 5. ]
The Prince of Ch'ing to the German minister, dean of the diplomatic corps.
(Received November 15, 1905.) On the 15th of the tenth moon, XXXI year, Kuanghsü (November 11, 1905), I had the honor to receive a dispatch from your excellency, saying that you had already requested my Government to adopt measures for the removal of mines floating on the surface of the sea, and that now another large vessel had fallen a victim to this evil, and that therefore the senior consul at Shanghai had called attention to the inadequacy of the measures so far taken for removing the danger from these floating mines in the sea between Shanghai and the northern ports, and that it might be well perhaps to interest the fishermen in the matter of their removal and thus get rid of the danger.
As to this matter, in the third moon of the present year I received a note from your excellency with regard to measures for searching for the floating mines, and my board thereupon telegraphed to the superintendent of trade for the north, and sent a reply to your excellency, as the records will show.
Later I received a communication from the superintendent of trade for the north, saying that he had sent the Hai-ch'en and other vessels to make search, and they had secured three mines.
On the receipt of your excellency's present dispatch I have sent instructions to the superintendents of trade for the south and the north to deal with the matter, and for the present I send this reply, as in duty bound, for your excellency's information.
A necessary dispatch.
Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. No. 197.]
Peking, January 15, 1906. Sir: Referring to my No. 172 of December 18 last, with regard to the danger to navigation in the Gulf of Pechili resulting from the presence of floating mines, I have the honor to inclose a translation of a note recently sent by the foreign office to the doyen of the diplomatic corps, showing the steps taken by the Chinese Government to remedy this evil. I have, etc.,
W. W. ROCKHILL.
The Prince of Ch'ing to the German minister, dean of the diplomatic corps.
Your EXCELLENCY: With regard to the matter of the capture and destruction of floating mines, I had the honor to receive a dispatch from your excellency on November 11, asking if notice of reward could not be published extensively and measures taken to remove this danger from the sea. l'pon the receipt thereof I immediately communicated with the superintendents of trade for the north and south, and replied to your excellency's dispatch, as the records show.
I now have the honor to state that I have received the following letter from the superintendent of trade for the north:
“ Effective measures should certainly be taken immediately to be rid of these floating mines entirely. Upon receipt of your instructions I at once communicated with Admiral Sa, commander of the northern and southern division of the admiralty, directing him to order bis subordinates to act in accordance with your instructions, and to publish notices to the effect that 2,000 taels would be given is a reward for the capture of one of these fioating mines. Subsequently a reply was received from Admiral Sa, saying that the ships Haich'en,
Haich'ou, and Feiying, previously sent to capture and destroy floating mines, had captured several; that he had later sent 11 students and petty artillery officers on 11 merchant vessels armed with one-pounders to make a careful search and to blow up all mines they met; that in the last few months one of the artillery officers, Chang Ti-lung by name, had destroyed six of them, having been most successful; that upon receipt of my instructions he had sent proper orders to all the boats, and had posted notices of the reward offered in Chinwangtao, Tengchou, Chefoo, and Jungch'eng; and, finally, that the students and artillery officers were still to continue their patrol up and down the coast."
Having received this information, it becomes my duty to transmit it to your excellency, as copied above, for your information.
A necessary dispatch.
The French Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.
NEWPORT, August 18, 1906. Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: The chamber of commerce of Paris, in a letter, copy of which is herewith inclosed, has drawn the attention of the minister of commerce to the perils to which vessels are exposed by the dormant mines scattered over the open seas of the Far East. That corporation further points to the interest there would be in effecting, according to the views of The Hague conference, an international agreement to prevent the recurrence of so serious a danger.
I should be thankful if you could let me know how a motion to that effect, if made, would be received by the Federal Government. Be pleased to accept, etc.,
The Secretary of State to the French Chargé d'Affaires. No. 343.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 16, 1906. SIR: I have the pleasure to acknowledge your note of the 18th of August last, in which, at the instance of the chamber of commerce of Paris, attention is drawn to the perils to which vessels are exposed by the dormant mines scattered over the open seas of the Far East, and the suggestion is made that this subject be taken up by The Hague conference and an international agreement effected to prevent the liability of such dangers.
After consultation with my colleague of the navy, I may say that this Government would incline to favor an international agreement whereby to restrict and regulate the employment by belligerents of dormant or other mines which are liable to drift away from the spot of their strategic employment and become a menace to legitimate navigation on the high seas or in neutral waters.
While the use of submarine mines in war is as legitimate as that of torpedoes and other dirigible explosive devices, the mutual rights of the belligerents and their obligations toward the whole neutral world forbid their employment except under conditions of reasonable control, both as to the area in which they are effective and the duration of their destructive character. Certainly the menace from drifting mines to all shipping navigating the Yellow Sea and adjacent waters