Mr. Denby to Mr. Olney.

No. 2288.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have designated Rev. Spencer Lewis, a resident of Chungking, to act as the American member of a commission to examine into the causes and results of the Szechuan riots.

I have addressed to Mr. Lewis a communication, of which a copy is inclosed, wherein the purposes of this commission, the constitution thereof, and its duties are set forth.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby
[Inclosure in No. 2288.]

Mr. Denby to Mr. Lewis.

Sir: It has been arranged by the Chinese Government, Her Britannic Majesty’s minister, Sir N. R. O’Conor, and myself that a commission consisting of three Chinese officials—probably the prefect of Chengtu, the provincial treasurer, and the judge—Her Britannic Majesty’s consul, Mr. J. W. Tratman, an English missionary, and an American missionary, should sit either at Chengtu or Chungking for the purpose of inquiring into the causes and results of the recent riots in Szechuan.

I have designated you as a member of this commission and hope, in the general interest, you will consent to serve.

It is proper to state that I have consented to the organization of the commission without consultation with my Government, there being no time to do so fully, and that I can not hold out any inducement that any compensation will be paid to you, or even that your expenses will be reimbursed. All that I can say is that when the labors of the commission are concluded, and a report made of services rendered, I will represent the matter to the State Department for its consideration.

The duty of the commission will be to inquire into the causes and origin of the riots; to find the facts and to determine from them whether the provincial officials took adequate measures to prevent disorder and to suppress it after it broke out, and to assess the damages suffered by each individual and corporation.

The findings of the commission will not be final and conclusive, its object being to find the facts and submit them for the further action of the two foreign representatives chiefly interested therein.

It is desired that a full report of the proceedings of the commission be made and forwarded to this legation.

I am, etc.,

Charles Denby