Great Britain, Germany, and the Far-Eastern crisis of 1897-98

Citation metadata

Author: T.G. Otte
Date: Nov. 1995
From: The English Historical Review(Vol. 110, Issue 439)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Document Type: Article
Length: 12,086 words

Document controls

Main content


The UK did not have a clear-cut policy regarding the China Crisis of 1897-88 with Germany's occupation of Kiao-Chow Bay. Its essentially reactive policy throughout the crisis was dictated by its concern over its prestige as a first-class power in the Far East. It could not support the German action since it was not sure if there had been no connivance between Russia and Germany over the occupation. British-German relations remained strained at that time as well.

Full Text: 

IT WAS not until the exposure of China's internal and external weakness in the war with Japan in 1894 -- 5 that the chanceries of Europe became increasingly concerned with Chinese affairs. Before then, the Celestial Empire was widely seen as -- in the words of the scholar-diplomat Sir Ernest Satowl(1) -- `an ancient civilization that had become stagnant'(2) and that had no bearing on the European balance of power. After her defeat at the hands of the rising power of Japan, however, China seemed to belong to the category of what Lord Salisbury had dubbed `dying nations', former great powers now in terminal decline (the Ottoman `sick man' being the other moribund patient of the time). For almost a decade, until the Russo-Japanese War, the prospect of dividing up the spoils of the anticipated total disintegration of the Chinese state made the Middle Kingdom an object of international seemed, `were fused into one political system.... [European diplomats] were compelled to follow carefully every change in the political barometer in China and Europe -- for the political situation in one sphere affected the situation in the other.'(3)

Like most other European powers, Germany had become increasingly involved in far-eastern affairs since 1895. The German leadership, especially Emperor Wilhelm II, was determined that Germany, the `retarded ration' which had `come too late' in the scramble for colonies, should not be left out when it came to the expected carving-up of China. The murder of two German Catholic missionaries in the province of Shantung offered Berlin the welcome and long-awaited pretext to occupy Kiao-Chow Bay with its small fishing harbour Tsingtao on the coast of that province(4). Yet this first exercise in Weltpolitik, like so many which were to follow, was diplomatically ill-prepared. The occupation of Kiao-Chow exacerbated Germany's relations with the Russian government, which regarded the German action as poaching on its land. Almost overnight the friendly relations with St Petersburg, so carefully nurtured over recent years, had come to an end. Moreover, the Kiao-Chow crisis was a confrontation for which neither Berlin, nor for that matter the Dual Alliance, was prepared militarily or diplomatically.

On the other hand Germany's relations with Britain were still so tense that Berlin's only trump against Russia -- the possibility of entering into a combination or, at least, a close relation with Britain -- was out of its hands. However, the diplomats at the Auswartiges Amt, and in particular its enigmatic and public-shy spiritus rector Baron von Holstein,(1) pondered the possibility of an Anglo-German rapprochement.(2) Holstein and the Reich Chancellor Prince Hohenlohe therefore ruled out the exchange of Kiao-Chow for any other harbour on the Chinese coast since all potential naval bases to the south of Kiao-Chow were too close to the British sphere of interest in the Yangtze region. Any move southwards was bound to meet with British resistance, whilst the occupation of a port north of Kiao-Chow would further encroach upon Russia's sphere of interest. Both men were anxious for a rapprochement with Britain, above all, because of the high price they assumed Russia would demand for her approval of the German occupation of Kiao-Chow. To buy off Russia, Hohenlohe and Holstein feared, might well mean committing Germany's foreign policy to the advantage of her eastern neighbour. A Russo-German understanding under conditions laid down by Russia, however, would inevitably be poised against Britain. It was, therefore, the senior diplomats in the Wilhelmstrasse reasoned, in Britain's very own interest to support the German action in China against the Russians.(3)

Even though there had been constant rumours about German desires on Chinese territory(4) the British government was caught by surprise by the German coup.(1) The maintenance of the territorial integrity of the two `dying empires', the Ottoman and the Celestial, had been the corner-stone of British policy in the Near and Far East. Now, after the occupation of Kiao-Chow by Germany, the British government faced a dilemma. There was, on the one hand, the danger that the German action would spark off a general scramble for naval bases and commercial concessions in the Far East, thus necessitating a major revision of British policy in that region.(2) On the other hand, though, the China Association, the pressure group of British merchants engaged in the China trade(3), had urged the Foreign Office earlier in 1897 to demand from the Chinese government the opening of Tsingtao as a treaty port. At the time, the Old China Hands suggested that this measure might stop any Russian or German moves on Kiao-Chow.(4) Whether the Foreign Office was at all prepared to adopt such a policy cannot be established. As to Kiao-Chow's strategical position the experts on the spot were quite dismissive, concluding that `tine harbour [was] not at all well suitable for an anchorage for men of war'.(5) About the commercial value of the place Sir Claude MacDonald,(6) the British minister at Peking, was profoundly sceptical; yet he opined that the `opening of the place as a treaty port would be the best mode of checkmating any designs of the kind attributed to Russia'.(7) Before the British government could take a decision on this issue, Admiral von Diederichs and his East Asian Cruiser Squadron had entered Kiao-Chow Bay and Britain was faced with an entirely new situation.

British policy throughout the Kiao-Chow crisis was essentially reactive. It was conditioned by the uncertainty as to German intentions with regard to Kiao-Chow in particular and China in general(8), and as to whether or not there had been Russo-German collusion over Kiao-Chow(1). Indeed, one of the major concerns of the Foreign Office at this time was the revival of the Far Eastern Dreibund, that informal alliance of interest between Russia, Germany and France which had forced the Japanese out of China in 1895.(2) On 18 November Francis Bertie,(3) the Chief Clerk at the Foreign Office's Far Eastern Department,(4) observed in a memorandum on the situation in northern China:

As the Russians were given permission to make use of Kia[o]chou Bay as a

winter anchorage for their fleet the Germans would hardly have taken

possession without the assent or previous knowledge of the Russian

Government. The Russians will now probably seek to acquire Talienwan [fifty

miles east of Port Arthur on the Liaotung Peninsula] or some other

ice-free harbour as a counterpoise to the German port or to assist the

Germans in defending China against British cupidity.(5)

Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, however, maintained his characteristic attitude of relative passivity and `intelligent inaction',(6) even though he anticipated that the Germans would stay at Kiao-Chow.(7) It may be assumed that he formed this impression after a conversation with Count Hatzfeldt,(8) the German ambassador, on 17 November. Acting on Holstein's suggestion,(9) the ambassador touched upon the possibility of an Anglo-German rapprochement via the periphery of European politics. He stressed that the only motive for the German action was to exact from the Chinese some compensation for the murder of the two missionaries. Yet he carefully avoided committing his government to a certain course of policy and observed that public opinion in Germany might not allow them to withdraw from Kiao-Chow.(10) Hatzfeldt also intimated that to obtain an agreement with Russia over Kiao-Chow would have meant committing Germany's entire foreign policy to the advantage of Russia and that it would, therefore, be in Britain's interest to be more conciliatory towards Germany. Salisbury, for his part, did not voice any objections against the German occupation of a place on the Chinese coast. He made it quite clear though 'that the further North that place was the less problematic and undesirable it would be for England'.(1) It was obvious that Salisbury did not want the Germans to come too close to the British sphere of interest in the Yangtze Valley.(2) This point was re-emphasized by him in a further conversation with the German ambassador on 20 November.(3)

In view of Salisbury's evasive response to Hatzfeldt's soundings the Wilhelmstrasse finally decided to abandon the idea of an exchange of Kiao-Chow for another place on the Chinese coast.

Under these circumstances [Holstein wrote] we must in my opinion remain

there [at Kiao-Chow], little as I like the prospect of a big war [with Russia].

But if the Dual Alliance sees that we retreat before it in one instance, it will

soon try other methods of intimidation.(4)

It was therefore the German foreign ministry, rather than the naval and military authorities, that resolved to take a firm line and to carry on the Kiao-Chow operation without any modifications. Thus, on 22 November 1897, Freiherr von Rotenhan, the deputy foreign secretary, handed the Russian ambassador a note to that effect.(5) The Russo-German crisis had reached its climax. By the end of November Count Mouraviev, the Russian foreign minister, accepted the situation on the ground largely because he had no other option. The Russians were not really prepared to risk a war with Germany over a dispute in the Far East and their ally France did not seem to be inclined to support them to expel the Germans from Kiao-Chow.(6)

With Mouraviev's climb-down the European repercussions of the German coup abated. But for Britain the wider problems it entailed remained unsolved. Officially, British foreign policy was still committed to the maintenance of an integral Chinese Empire, as it had been for the previous half century. Obsessed with the assumed potential of a market of 400 million Chinese, the Old China Hands, the business community in general, but also cabinet ministers like Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain and Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, favoured the maintenance of the principle of the `Open Door(1). In a speech at Swansea on 17 January 1898 Hicks Beach reiterated the government's official policy:

We look upon it [China] as the most hopeful place of the future for the

commerce of our country and the commerce of the world at large, and the

Government was absolutely determined ... if necessary, at the cost of war,

that the door should not be shut against us.(2)

Arthur James Balfour, the Leader of the House of Commons, explained Britain's China policy in similar terms in a Commons debate on 5 April:

Our policy . . . should be a conservative policy as regards China.

We desire to see, if possible, China maintain not only a nominal,

but a real suzerainty over her vast dominions. We desire, indeed, to

see these dominions open for universal trade, but we do not desire

to see them cut up and divided among the expectant heirs of this great

moribund Empire.(3)

At the Foreign Office, however, the views on the new situation in China were more diverse. The personal animosity and sharp divergence of opinions between Sir Thomas Sanderson(4), the Permanent Under-Secretary, and Bertie resurfaced again in this matter.(5) Sanderson, the altogether more cautious and discreet bureaucrat, favoured the maintenance of Britain's `traditional' policy and rejected the `policy of grab'.(6) Bertie, by contrast, was much more ambivalent about the maintenance of China's territorial integrity. He was not at all prepared to rule out categorically the partition of China into various spheres of influence or the acquisition of a naval base by Britain.(7)

Salisbury vacillated between these two views. Initially, he was inclined to demand from the Chinese `a countervailing advantage' in case Germany were given a port or a coaling station on the Chinese coast.(8) Yet, on 21 November, four days after having instructed MacDonald to intimate to the Chinese that Britain expected to be compensated, he repealed this instruction completely.(1) In general, Salisbury was not in favour of acquiring any territory in the Far East.(2) His reticence to commit himself to a course of action was mainly due to the fact that it was still quite uncertain what the German intentions towards China were. But, given the rumours, which had been circulating for well over a year, about German designs on a coaling station in China, there was little doubt that they would not withdraw from China entirely. As Bertie pointed out to Salisbury: `The Germans have gone too far to recede altogether. They may possibly shift their grounds further South as a concession to China but they would not have done what they have done for the sake of these murdered missionaries only.'(3)

The impression that Germany would try to acquire a port by all means was undoubtedly further strengthened by Hatzfeldt's hint that German public opinion might compel the Kaiser's government not to evacuate Kiao-Chow.(4) On the other hand, though, the sharp Russian reaction to the seizure of Kiao-Chow helped to allay some of the fears that Germany had acted only after a prior agreement with St Petersburg.(5) Salisbury, therefore, continued to assure the Germans that their presence at Kiao-Chow did not interfere with Britain's interests in China.(6) Throughout December it became increasingly clear that they would indeed stay at Kiao-Chow, albeit the evidence was purely circumstantial, mainly based on reports from visiting Royal Navy vessels.(7) The German demands on China, so far as the British diplomats in Peking could ascertain, did not contain any claims for a coaling station at all. On the contrary, the Germans' main concern seemed to be the punishment of the murderers of the two missionaries and those officials -- like the governor of Shantung -- who had condoned their crime.(8) With regard to this matter Salisbury instructed MacDonald that, if approached by the ministers of the Tsungli Yamen, the Chinese board of foreign affairs, he should advise them to accept the German demands.(9)

Salisbury and the officials of the Far Eastern Department regarded the compensation of Germany as a useful measure to bring home to the Chinese government the consequences of attacks on foreigners.(1) The fifth German demand for preferential rights in railway building and mining in Shantung, however, was seen as a breach of Article 54 of the treaty of Tientsin (1858-60) which guaranteed Britain most-favoured-nation status in the China trade.(2) Thus, when on 6 December MacDonald reported that the Chinese government was prepared to accede to all German demands,(3) Salisbury instructed him to demand compensation from China.(4) The precise nature of the compensation, however, was left open. Salisbury seemed anxious -- at least for the time being -- not to demand territorial concessions from the Chinese. He feared that the actual or assumed opposition of Britain to a German coaling station in Chinese waters might induce the Peking government to refuse the German demands on the grounds of the British opposition.(5) And this was exactly what happened. On 16 December, Freiherr von Heyking,(6) the German minister to China, informed his foreign secretary, Bernhard von Bulow, that the Tsungli Yamen was prepared to accept the permanent occupation of Kiao-Chow, had not MacDonald demanded a port for Britain as a compensation.(7) It is by no means clear whether the British minister had actually made this demand. There is no evidence for it in the dispatches to and from Peking. Moreover, MacDonald had been explicitly instructed not to make any statement on the subject of territorial compensation for Britain.(8) When challenged by Heyking, he strenuously denied having made any such suggestions to the Yamen.(9) Most likely, the Chinese negotiators tried to use this ploy in the hope of driving a wedge between the European powers and thereby forcing the Germans to evacuate Kiao-Chow Bay altogether. Yet this episode helped to remove the last doubts as to whether or not Germany would stay at that place. In this respect the middle of December marked a turning-point particularly in the attitude of Salisbury. Until then the prospect of Germany gaining a foothold in north China was seen by many in the Foreign Office with equanimity(10) -- with, perhaps, the exception of Bertie.

The presence of a Russian naval squadron at Port Arthur at the northern entrance of the Gulf of Pe-chili from mid-December onwards no doubt helped speed up the change in Salisbury's attitude.(1) Now it was observed amongst British diplomats that there was no `adequate counterpoise to German and Russian actions in the North' and that Britain, as Sir Nicholas O'Conor(2), the ambassador at St Petersburg and former minister to China, advised, ought to declare her interests in China, `in fact define a sphere of influence'.(3) Bertie took up the first point in a memorandum of 24 December which reflected his ongoing concern about a re-emerging far-eastern Dreibund. He recommended that a `squadron able to deal with a Russian-German-French combination would be our best security'.(4) However, to maintain a naval squadron in north Chinese waters, almost 1,000 miles from Hong Kong, the nearest British naval station, was strategically impossible. Bertie's implicit recommendation therefore was that Britain had to acquire a naval base. Already a month earlier MacDonald had privately suggested to Salisbury that a coaling station in northern China was desirable provided it was fortified.(5) The ambassador had at his own instigation, without instructions from London, enquired from Admiral Buller(6), the second in command on China Station, whether in his view Britain ought to acquire another naval station besides Hong Kong `in the two following contingencies: Firstly, the Germans remaining at Kiaochow; Secondly, [the] Germans giving up that place and obtaining a coaling station near Foochow.'(7) On receiving Buller's reply,(8) MacDonald sent a private telegram to Salisbury in the sense of Buller's recommendation, albeit without mentioning the Admiral.

The Foreign Secretary, however, continued to delay any decision on the future course of British policy in China. Despite his apparent indecision, he was acutely aware of the possible implications of the German action at Kiao-Chow Bay and of the appearance of a Russian squadron at Port Arthur. He did not refuse to acknowledge the existence of a far- eastern crisis:(9) his was less a `crisis: what crisis?', but rather a more cautious, and altogether more typical `wait and see' approach. As he explained to Sanderson on 23 December, he expected the Germans to acquire territorial rights either at Kiao-Chow or elsewhere, while the Russians would take Port Arthur. His thoughts revolved mainly around three central questions which the government had to decide upon soon:

1. As to whether this [i.e. the German and expected Russian seizures of Chinese territory] would modify the strategical situation so as to make it necessary for us to occupy some new portion and if so where.

2. Whether such a step on our part would be required to maintain what is vaguely called our prestige -- that is to say our position as a first-rate Power interested above others in the commerce of those seas.

3. Whether the position held by Russia and Germany would give them such means of exercising political pressure at Pekin as to render some countermove on our part necessary for preservation of our influence in matters which are important for the protection of our commerce, such as the selection of the Inspector General of Customs etc. If so what would be the best course -- the establishment of a winter station for our fleet near Chefoo or the constant presence of our vessels there -- or what else.(1)

As a matter of personal sentiment, Salisbury attached more importance to securing the succession to Sir Robert Hart,(2) the Inspector General of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs, for a British national than to obtaining territorial concessions on the Chinese coast. Yet, he was quite resigned to the fact `that "the public" will require territorial or cartographic consolation in China. It will not be useful, & it will be expensive but as a matter of pure sentiment we shall have to do it.'(3)

In consequence, Salisbury inquired from MacDonald whether there was a small port in the Gulf of Pe-chili `suitable as a make weight for German [sic] occupations'.(4) Shortly afterwards, on New Year's Eve, he informed the minister that if the Chinese government ceded territory to Germany Britain would demand `some corresponding concession'.(5) Even though he initially feared the costs the acquisition of Chinese territory would incur,(6) by the end of December 1897 Salisbury had decided to establish a British naval station in northern China as a counterpoise to the German Stutzpunkt at Tsingtao. So far as the Foreign Secretary and his officials were concerned, the decision to acquire some part of China for Britain as a response to the German action at Kiao-Chow was, therefore, taken much earlier than hitherto assumed. In fact, it may be argued that the 'cabinet crisis' of February-March 1898 was but the climax of a much longer crisis-like search for a new China policy.

In early January 1898 it finally emerged that Germany would stay at Kiao-Chow Bay. Although this had not been included in the original German demands, the Chinese negotiators had agreed to the long-term lease of the bay and to the transfer of Chinese sovereignty to Germany. In an exchange of notes on 4 January they also conceded a fifty-kilometre-wide zone of special German influence with the Bay as its centre.(1) But in order to maintain his `policy of complete freedom of action'(2) Bulow decided against officially notifying the powers of the Sino-German agreement. Indeed, the full text of the Kiao-Chow convention of 6 March 1898 was never communicated by the German government at all.(3) A copy of the Chinese text of the convention which MacDonald had obtained from undisclosed Chinese sources in May 18984 proved to be incomplete as well when, eight years later, the British consul at Chinan Fu received the full official German text of the convention from the anti-German governor of Shantung!(5) It was the secrecy which surrounded the negotiations between Heyking and the Tsungli Yamen, in addition to the use of brute force at Kiao-Chow, that Salisbury most objected to.(6) He none the less continued to assure Hatzfeldt that his government was not opposed to the German acquisition of Kiao-Chow.(7) Salisbury tried to gain time. Even though he had concluded that the German seizure of Kiao- Chow necessitated a counter-move on the part of Britain, he was anxious not to be seen to be the first to follow the German lead and to embark on a `policy of grab'. Instead he preferred the Russians to play that role.(8)

In the meantime, attempts to arrive at a modus vivendi with Russia in order to preserve China's independence, which were undertaken in January 1898, bore no fruit because Russia had ambitions of her own in the north of the Middle Kingdom. A detailed examination of the Anglo-Russian negotiations of January 1898 would exceed the bounds of this article. Their significance should not be overestimated: they were merely a renewed attempt to win Russia's approval for an agreement concerning the periphery of European politics, of the kind which Salisbury had essayed in I895,-6 in view of the Turkish problems. Nor was he really willing to make new concessions to St Petersburg in the Far East. He reckoned that British diplomacy might be able to exploit the obvious Russian annoyance at the seizure of Kiao-Chow, which Count Witte, the Russian finance minister, who was in charge of far-eastern policy, had branded as an `act of brigandage'.(1) Moreover, Salisbury knew that with Kitchener marching down the River Nile towards Khartoum a confrontation with France was almost certain. This was clearly not the time to start a quarrel with Russia as well.(2) But on 27 March an agreement was signed between China and Russia which granted the latter the lease of Port Arthur and Talienwan and further territorial and railway concessions in north China.(3)

The lease of Port Arthur to Russia meant the end of Salisbury's attempts to arrive at a far-eastern understanding with the Russian government, and plunged his Cabinet into a crisis. Russia had made the next move in the Great Game for predominance in Asia which could not be left unanswered -- particularly in view of the strongly anti-Russian sentiments of the British press.(4) Though the Cabinet was reluctant to seize territory in the Far East,(5) the Russian move was precisely what Salisbury had been waiting for. Now Russia had incurred the odium of following the Kaiser in plundering what appeared to be the carcass of the Chinese Empire. It was time to act on the decision of December 1897 to acquire a Chinese port as a check on Germany (and Russia).

During the events surrounding the lease of Port Arthur and Talienwan to Russia it emerged that Germany had more far-reaching designs on China than the lease of Kino-Chow Bay. As the German minister to China explained to his British colleague, `commercially Shantung was intended to be a German province',(6) even though Bulow and the Auswartiges Amt later refuted this statement.(7) An argument between Heyking and MacDonald over railway concessions in Shantung in February and early March 1898(1) as much as the reaction of the German semi-official press to the signing of the Shantung agreement on 6 March, which settled the Kiao-Chow affair,(2) convinced the Foreign Office that the German government had indeed every intention of turning the province into an exclusively German zone. Henry Bax- Ironside,(3) first secretary at the Peking embassy, predicted `that they [i.e. the Germans] will establish an "imperium in imperio", and, should they meet with any governmental difficulties in the area they purpose occupying, the same high-handed methods already employed will continue to be effectively used, in order to coerce the weak Government in Peking.'(4) Francis Bertie was of similar opinion, as he made plain with his usual candour to Britain's ambassador at Berlin, Sir Frank Lascelles:(5)

The Germans as regards Shantung have lied with their customary

awkwardness. I live in hope that we may succeed in putting them into the

cart. I am convinced that if we show that we mean business we shall have

very little trouble with our big European friends. Unfortunately France,

Russia & Germany have got it into their heads that we shall never stand up

to one First Class Power much less to two or three even if we had with us

little Japan. It is difficult to remove this idea especially when we do our

best to encourage it.(6)

Three weeks earlier, Sir Robert Hart had informed MacDonald on behalf of the Chinese `that if the Chinese Government thought their request would meet with a favourable response they would offer [the] lease of Wei-hai-Wei to [the] British Government'.(7) Wei-hai-Wei was a small port on the north coast of the Shantung promontory. Under Japanese occupation since 1895, it was to be evacuated upon the full payment of the indemnity imposed on China by the treaty of Shimonoseki of 1895.(8) The Chinese offer of a lease of Wei-hai-Wei to Britain was not a gift of love. On the one side, the Tsungli Yamen expected a British demand for compensation after the leases of territory to Germany and Russia, and by offering Wei-hai-Wei hoped to avoid the British occupation of points along the Yangtze River.(1) On the other side, the lease of Wei-hai-Wei to Britain was to serve as a check on Russia and Germany.(2) Balfour, who had temporarily taken over the Foreign Office from Salisbury, who was on sick-leave,(3) wrote to MacDonald that if

the Russians are to have a lease of Port Arthur and Talienwan on the

same terms as the German lease of Kiaochow, the influence of those

Powers over the Government of Peking will be so increased to the

detriment of [Britain] that it seems desirable for us to make some


Sir Claude was in full agreement with Balfour and explained that

[ads to Germany we must also face the fact that she hopes in the not so

distant future to make a German province of Shantung. By occupying

Wei-hai-Wei we should strike a death blow at this aspiration and incur

her hostility. On the other hand we should acquire a foothold in the

North, the only remaining port -- second to none from a naval point of

view.... [T]here can be little doubt that [Germany] intends to occupy it if

Japan retires.(5)

Sir Ernest Satow, the minister at Tokio, acting on instructions from Balfour(6), was told privately by the Japanese prime minister, Marquess Ito Hirobumi, that Japan would evacuate Wei-hai-Wei upon the payment of the indemnity,(7) and that she would welcome the take-over of the place by Britain.(8)

But it took the British Cabinet until 22 March to decide on its China policy. This was partly due to the prolonged absence of the ailing Prime Minister from the country.(9) But there was also profound disagreement amongst the ministers. In many ways, the cabinet discussions on the Wei-hai-Wei question reflected the growing unease of some ministers about the soundness of Britain's assumed `policy of isolation'. They were fairly evenly split into two groups. The `anti-Wei-hai-Wei group' identified Russia as the main opponent in the Far East and advocated a firm policy in order to oust her from Port Arthur -- even at the risk of war; in return, Britain herself would not take any Chinese territory either.(10) The members of this group, particularly Chamberlain, but also, as will be seen, Balfour, the two service ministers, George Joachim Goschen at the Admiralty, and the War Minister, Lord Lansdowne, and to some extent the Chancellor Hicks Beach, were consequently favourably inclined towards the idea of an alliance with Germany.(1) The `Wei- hai-Wei group', led by Salisbury with the support of the UnderSecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, George Nathaniel Curzon, by contrast, saw no way of preventing the lease of Port Arthur or Talienwan to Russia, and thus advocated the occupation of Wei-hai-Wei. Indeed, they `looked with no disfavour upon such a course' as it would open more Chinese ports to foreign nations;(2) but they also hoped that a regional arrangement with Russia might eventually be achieved.(3) This policy option was, therefore, a continuation of Salisbury's failed attempt of January 1898 to arrive at a modus vivendi with Russia as regards China. Thus, the members of the `Wei-hai-Wei group', most notably Salisbury and Curzon, were extremely sceptical about the merits or indeed the desirability of an alliance with Germany.(4)

On 22 March, with only Chamberlain and Hicks Beach dissenting, the Cabinet followed Salisbury's lead and decided to obtain from China the lease of Wei-hai-Wei.(5) A concerted effort by Salisbury, Curzon, and Bertie tipped the balance in favour of the `Wei-hai-Wei group'. The Prime Minister later appreciated his Under-Secretary's help in converting the Cabinet to his views.(6) Curzon, a widely acknowledged expert and prolific writer on Asian affairs,(7) shared Salisbury's appreciation of the problems the dying empires in the Near and Far East posed for British policy. He had grasped at once the portent of the German occupation of Kiao-Chow and the Russian descent upon Port Arthur. Immediately after the cabinet decision of 14 March not to demand the lease of Wei-hai-Wei and to restrict British demands for compensation to the concession for the Peking-Hankow railway,(1) Curzon and Bertie drew up two separate memoranda, in which they developed identical arguments in favour of the lease of Wei-hai-Wei, and which were then circulated amongst members of the Cabinet.(2) Even more indicative of the collaboration between the two men than the coincidence in timing and contents of the two memoranda is the fact that the spelling of Chinese place-names was identical, as other memoranda and minutes by Bertie are by no means models of consistency in this respect. Francis Bertie advised that

[i]f we desire to have some counterpoise to the preponderance of

Russian and German influence at Peking we must have some point of

advantage in the north.... At Wei-hai-Wei we should face Russia, and

would have some control over the proceedings of the Germans, who are

evidently bent on monopolising everything in Shantung.(3)

Curzon stressed that in view of the Russian occupation of Port Arthur and Talienwan and the ultimate absorption of northern China by Russia, Britain was obliged `to acquire a corresponding position'. Furthermore, he argued that

[t]he appearance of Germany upon the scene makes the essential

exclusion of Great Britain from the north (unless now guarded against)

even more certain. Germany already claims preferential advantages over

the whole of Shantung . .. on the strength of having three month ago

forcibly possessed herself of a harbour on its coast. Her object is to

push westwards to the Hwang-ho, very likely beyond, and southwards

into Honan. If these ambitions be realised the whole of North China will

be Russian down to the Hwang-ho. Then will come a solid German

wedge; and we shall be driven down to the Yang-tsze Valley, with our

northernmost position in the Chusan Archipelago, close upon 1,000

miles from Tien-tsin, the river port of Pekin, 600 miles from the Shantung

Promontory, and over 200 miles from Port Arthur. Such a position will be

adequate for the defence of our own sphere, presuming the latter to be

strictly limited to the Yang-tsze Valley. But it will deprive us of all scope

for counter-balancing the greatly superior influence of Russia and

Germany at Peking, for taking hand in the game that will still be played in

the north, or for exercising pressure on our own account at the Peking


Curzon also pointed out that

[t]he occupation of Wei-hai-Wei would be a declaration on our part that

we have not abandoned the field in North China to our rivals; but that

equally with them we demand a voice in the protection of our interests in

that quarter, and in the regulation of China's future. Still more would it

give a lien upon the confidence and, when required, upon the alliance of

Japan. If we abdicate in the north she will have no alternative but to come

to terms with her adversaries.(1)

A similar scenario was produced by Bertie in his memorandum:

If the indemnity due to Japan be paid by China in May, and Japan remains at

Wei-hai-Wei, she may probably be summoned by Russia, France, and Germany to

turn out. Germany will step in by agreement with Russia and France, who

will get or take what they desire, and we shall be left to content ourselves

as best we can in the Yang-tsze region, seeing our trade gradually squeezed

out of North and South China.(2)

Both Curzon and Bertie agreed that immediate and urgent action was necessary. The former pointed out to the Cabinet:

If we mean no one else to swallow the cherry, why not take it ourselves,

instead of having a bite at it, and still leaving it on the plate to excite

the appetite of others? ... If at the moment that Russia gets Manchuria and

Germany is in process of getting Shantung, we allow ourselves to be squeezed,

without protest, out of the north ... I am afraid we shall give the

impression of inability to make any stand

against our rivals, and that our reputation both at Peking and throughout

China will be permanently the loser.

Furthermore, the Under-Secretary argued that the take-over of Wei- hai-Wei by Britain would not `in any way interfere with legitimate Russian ex- pansion [sic]' in the Far East, and, as regards Germany, would provide British diplomacy `with the very means we desire of coming to terms with her, of making her more reasonable in the future, and of compelling her to respect Treaty rights in Shantung'.(3)

The decision on Wei-hai-Wei was finally sanctioned by the full Cabinet on 26 March at Salisbury's suggestion.(4) But already on 25 March MacDonald had been instructed to obtain the lease of the port.(5) The presence of a British naval force in the Gulf of Pe-chili underlined the urgency of Sir Claude's mission.(6) On 10 April MacDonald secured the lease of Wei-hai-Wei;(7) the transfer of Wei-hai-Wei from Japan to Britain was accomplished on 24 May;(8) and on 1 July the Wei-hai-Wei convention was finally signed.) Acting on Sanderson's instructions Sir Frank Lascelles informed the German foreign secretary of the lease of Wei-hai-Wei to Britain on 4 April, emphasizing that his government had taken this step `in order to restore the balance of power in the Gulf of Pechili which had been disturbed to the detriment of Britain by the Russian occupation of Port Arthur and that it was not directed against German interests'.(2) Lascelles himself, who was often thought to be too pro-German and too lenient towards the whims of the German Emperor,(3) was never informed of the real reasons behind the decision to acquire Wei-hai-Wei.(4)

The German government, however, regarded Shantung as a German sphere of influence. Responding to Lascelles' communication, Bulow therefore demanded from the British an open declaration accepting Germany's predominance in the province, and, more specifically, that Britain would abstain from building a railway line between Wei-hai-Wei and the interior of Shantung.(5) Balfour, again in charge of the Foreign Office after Salisbury had left once more for France,(6) was ready to give such a pledge and to extend it to the whole of Shantung.(7) But he was prepared to go even further. On two occasions, on 29 March and 9 April, he offered Hatzfeldt, albeit in the guise of a `purely informal suggestion', some form of colonial arrangement based on the mutual recognition of Germany's and Britain's spheres of influence in China.(8) In the House of Commons debate on China on 5 April, almost stepping across the confines of collective responsibility, he declared

that within China ... British interests and German interests are absolutely

identical.... [F]undamentally the interests of the two countries are the

same and must be the same, and I certainly believe that we shall be able

without difficulty to work hand in hand towards carrying out ... general

commercial objects.(9)

The core of the matter was Balfour's scepticism about the wisdom of the cabinet decision of 22-6 March. Although he had supported it at the time,(10) he was by no means sure, as he told Goschen privately, whether by taking this decision `we may not fall between two stools'.(1) In this he was not alone. On the very day when Balfour suggested to Hatzfeldt the idea of a colonial agreement on China, Joseph Chamberlain made the dramatic offer of an alliance with Germany.(2) In the light of subsequent events Balfour's meetings with Hatzfeldt on 25 and 29 March seem to have been intended to prepare the ground for Chamberlain. Most historians and biographers of Balfour and Chamberlain have not seen the two as acting together in this matter.(3) Most of them have taken at face value Balfour's later attempts to deride Chamberlain's dilettante diplomaticking.(4) Yet Balfour's covert manoeuvring and his consciously cultivated appearance of `semi-detachment' were not at all out of character. It was a well and often tried tactic, which he later re-employed during the cabinet discussions on the merits of an Anglo-German agreement on China in the immediate aftermath of the Boxer Uprising, and, of course, as premier in the tariff controversy. In all likelihood, he was trying to cover himself against the possible failure of his preferred policy option. Balfour was too shrewd and skilful a political operator not to realize that in pursuing this matter against the opposition of the extremely sceptical Salisbury he would jeopardize not only the whole idea of an Anglo-German rapprochement, but also his own position as heir apparent to his uncle. Certainly, Balfour's attitude was more cautious than Chamberlain's -- his immediate objective probably confined to a rapprochement via the periphery. But both were aiming in the same direction; and both had been motivated by the cabinet decision to acquire Wei-hai-Wei.

In the end the Chamberlain-Hatzfeldt talks, that `curious episode of which no record will be found at the F[oreign] O[ffice]',(6) brought about no positive results; and when Hatzfeldt also rejected the idea of a reciprocal recognition of the British and German spheres of influence, Balfour did not insist on it any further.(7) Consequently, Lascelles was instructed to hand Bulow a note in which the British government gave the pledge the German foreign secretary had demanded.(8) The formal British declaration on Wei-hai-Wei of 20 April 1898 marked the end of the far-eastern crisis of 1897-8 in so far as European diplomacy was concerned. The major European powers had come to accept the changes in the territorial status quo in China. Nonetheless, some irritation at the British lease of Wei-hai-Wei lingered on in Germany since -- as the Kaiser explained to Lascelles -- `Wei-hai-Wei would ... be a useless expense and indicated a departure from that practical common sense with which Englishmen were usually credited'(1)

It may be argued that the British lease of Wei-hai-Wei was motivated less by the desire to check the latest Russian move in the Great Game than by the perceived need to counterbalance the arrival of Germany on the far-eastern scene. In many respects, the Russian occupation of Port Arthur and Talienwan was a welcome pretext for the British move on Wei- hai-Wei which had -- in principle -- already been taken in December 1897. The strongly anti-Russian sentiments of the British press explain why Balfour and Curzon in the House of Commons and Sir Claude MacDonald in his negotiations with the Chinese only referred to the need to balance Russian influence in north China when they justified the lease of Wei-hai-Wei. Furthermore, the choice of Wei-hai-Wei itself indicates that the move was less anti-Russian than hitherto assumed. Indeed, at the time, Balfour admitted that this place might not be suitable as a counterpoise to Port Arthur after all.(2) Wei-hai-Wei with its wide bay was open to strong north-easterly gales common in the spring. It therefore required the costly building of a breakwater at Liu-kung Island. In addition, the eastern entrance to the bay was so shallow that the latter could only be entered from the west, and the anchorage off the island could only harbour a small fleet.(3) Yet neither the necessary dredging of the harbour nor the full breakwater was ever completed.(4) Moreover, while Wei-hai-Wei was some 1,300 miles from Hong Kong, the nearest British naval base, the Russian garrison at Port Arthur could easily be reinforced from Siberia. Thus at Wei-hai-Wei Britain faced the old strategical problem that as a sea-power she had no effective means at her disposal to check a landpower. By taking Wei-hai-Wei Britain could not possibly hope to stop a Russian advance through Manchuria towards Peking. In fact, within the next two years it was decided to stop the fortification of Wei-hai-Wei altogether: it was now generally accepted that in the event of a war with Russia and France no attempt should be made to hold the place, which was seen as only `for the use of the Navy in times of peace or in connection with events in China not involving war with Russia'.(1) The military and naval authorities therefore concluded 'that Wei-hai-Wei is strategically in too isolated a position for its military occupation in times of war with a naval Power ever to be satisfactory'.(2) In particular with regard to Russia it was `impossible to foresee the future requirements at Wei-hai-Wei'.(3) Thus, to render Wei-hai-Wei strategically viable would have involved the permanent stationing of a substantial naval force superior to the forces of any other sea-power in the region. But neither the Treasury nor, indeed, the Admiralty regarded such a policy as essential for the safeguarding of Britain's imperial interests. More than anything else it would have entailed costly permanent defences.(4) Yet, while Wei-hai-Wei was clearly not suitable for a war with a naval power, it might still prove useful in a conflict with Germany in the Far East. After all, in 1898 the Reich was only just about to embark on Flotten-politik. Moreover, by occupying Wei-hai-Wei, it was hoped, Britain would `strike a death blow'5 at German aspirations to penetrate Shantung economically and to turn it into a German province. The lease of Wei-hai-Wei served a political purpose. But the political value of a naval base always depends to a large extent on its strategic value.(6) Against Russia Wei-hai-Wei could not possibly serve any strategic purpose; it therefore had no political value in the Great Game with Russia. It rather had a symbolic value in that it helped to placate the largely anti-Russian public opinion in Britain. But apart from this the lease served a threefold purpose. In strategic terms, it allowed Britain some control over the Germans in Shantung and a check on their ambitions in northern China; in diplomatic terms, it seemed to mark the end of the far-eastern crisis, and it helped to maintain Britain's prestige as a first-class power in the Far East; and, in terms of British foreign-policy making, the prevailing of Salisbury and the `Wei-hai-Wei group' over the `anti-Wei-hai-Wei group' was also a confirmation of the `policy of isolation', based on the assumption of Britain's strength and an appreciation of the problems of other nations. Yet the one consequence of Salisbury's China policy of March 1898 which the Prime Minister had not anticipated was that Chamberlain, defeated over the issue of Weihai-Wei by his cabinet colleagues, would take up the issue of an Anglo-German alliance, supported by Balfour who was deeply sceptical about the prudence of the decision in favour of Wei-hai-Wei. On the whole, British diplomacy did not have a clear strategy with regard to the events in the Far East. It was essentially reactive, and consisted of a set of loosely defined principles, and automatic reflexes, underlined by a general concern about Britain's prestige as a first-class power, which guided its actions during the China Crisis of 1897-8. Yet at the time action seemed to be preferable to inaction. (1.) Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) educated University College London; entered Japanese consular service, 1861; consul-general at Bangkok, 1884-5; minister at Montevideo, 1885-93; envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Fez, 1893-5; minister plenipotentiary at Tokio, 1895-1900; minister plenipotentiary at Peking, 1900-6; British member of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague, 1906-12; British delegate to the Second Hague Peace Conference, 1907.

(2.) Cf. E. M. Satow, `The Far East (1815-1871). I: China and her Intercourse with Western Powers', in The Cambridge Modern History, ed. A. W. Ward et al. Vol. XI: The Growth of Nationalities (Cambridge, 1909), pp. 802-23, at 802.

(3.) Cf. P. Joseph, Foreign Diplomacy in China, 1894-1900 (London, 1928), pp. 416 f.

(4.) A. H. Ganz, `The German Navy in the Far East and Pacific: The Seizure of Kiaotschou and After', in Germany in the Pacific and the Far East, 1870-1914, ed. J. A. Moses and P. M. Kennedy (St Lucia/Qld, 1974), pp. 115-36; H. H. Herweg, `Luxury Fleet': The Imperial German Navy, 1888-1918 (London/Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1988), pp. 103 ff.; J. Schrecker, Imperialism and Chinese Nationalism: Germany in Shantung (Cambridge, MA, 1971), pp. 19 ff. See also A.J. Irmer, Die Erwerbung von Kiautschou, 1894-1898 (Cologne, 1930), and B. M. Bee, `The Leasing of Kiaochow: A Study in Diplomacy and Imperialism' (diss., Harvard Univ., 1935).

(1.) Friedrich Baron von Holstein (1837-1909): educated Berlin University; entered diplomatic service 1860; served at St Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Copenhagen, Paris; at the Auswartiges Amt, 1876-1906.

(2.) Holstein to Hatzfeldt (private), 13 Nov. 1897, in The Holstein Papers, ed. N. Rich and M. H. Fisher, vol. iv (Cambridge, 1955), no.630; tel. Hohenlohe to Hatzfeldt (no. 326), 16 Nov. 1897, in Die Gro[Beta]e Politik der Europaischen Kabinette, 1871-1914, ed. J. Lepsuis et al., vol. xiv/I (Berlin, 1924 [hereafter GP]), no. 3702; Holstein to Eulenburg, 10 Nov. 1897, in Philipp Eulenburgs politische Korrespondenz. Vol. II: Krisen, Krieg, und Katastrophen, 1895-1921, ed. J. C. G. Rohl (Boppard/Rh., 1981), no. 1, 352.

(3.) Tel. Hohenlohe to Hatzfeldt (no. 326), 16 Nov. 1897, loc. cit.; tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 218), 16 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3703; Hatzfeldt to Holstein, 15 Nov. 1897, in Botschafter Paul Graf von Hatzfeldt: Nachgelassene Papiere, 1838-1901, ed. G. Ebel and M. Behnen, vol. ii (Boppard/Rh., 1976), no. 713; Holstein to Eulenburg, 23 Nov. 1897, Eulenburgs politische Korrespondenz, ii, no. 1353; N. Rich, Friedrich von Holstein: Politics and Diplomacy in the Era of Bismarck and Wilhelm II, vol. ii (Cambridge, 1965), pp. 563 f.; P. Winzen, Die Englandpolitik Friedrich von Holsteins, 1895-1901 (Cologne, 1975), pp. 185 f.

(4.) Lascelles to Salisbury, 12 June 1897, P[ublic] R[ecord] O[ffice], FO 64/1410, MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 149), 1 Nov. 1898, FO 17/1313; Lyton Jones to A. Chamberlain (private), 3 Jan. 1898, encl. in A. Chamberlain to Curzon (private), 4 Jan. 1898, Curzon MSS, India Office Library, MS Eur.F.III/93.

(1.) MacDonald to Bertie (private), 1 Dec. 1897, Bertie MSS, PRO, FO 800/162.

(2.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 59), 17 Nov. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1314.

(3.) On the China Association, see N. A. Pelcovits, Old China Hands and the Foreign Office (New York, 1948); A. J. Sargent, Anglo-Chinese Commerce and Diplomacy (Oxford, 1907), pp. 234 f., 282.

(4.) Memo. R. E. Gundry (China Association), 15 June 1897, PRO, WO 106/17; Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 112), 23 July 1897, 8 Sept. 1897, FO 17/1312; MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 127), FO 17/1313; MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 136), 7 Oct. 1897, ibid.; Pelcovits, Old China Hands, p.207.

(5.) Cf. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 127), loc. cit.; see also tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 49), 29 May 1896(copy), PRO,WO 106/17. This view was also shared by Gundry of the China Association who described Tsingtao as a mere `junk port at the entrance to Kiaochow Bay'. He did however also point out that a bay was `more susceptible to fortification than Port Arthur or Wei-hai-Wei': cf. Memo. Gundry, loc. cit.

(6.) Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald (1852-1915): educated Uppingham and Sandhurst; entered army, 1874; took partin the Egyptian campaign, 1882; military attache et Cairo, 1882-7; acting consul-general at Zanzibar, 1887-8; special mission to Niger territories, 1889; consul-general Oil Rivers Protectorate, 1891-6; retired from army, 1896; minister plenipotentiary at Peking, 1896-1900; ambassador at Tokio, 1900-12.

(7.) Cf. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 127), 8 Sept. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1313.

(8.) MacDonald to Bertie (private), 1 Dec. 1897, Bertie MSS, ibid.,FO 800/162; Sanderson to Salisbury (private), 19 Nov. 1897, Sanderson MSS, FO 800/2.

(1.) Gough to Salisbury (no. 346), 10 Dec. 1897, encl. Grierson (MA Berlin) to Gough (no. 57), 8 Dec. 1897, FO 64/1412; Min. Sanderson, 13 Dec. 1897, ibid.; Memo. Bertie, 18 Nov. 1897, FO 17/1330.

(2.) Min. Sanderson, 13 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 64/1412.

(3.) Sir Francis Leveson Bertie, first Viscount Bertie of Thame (1844-1919): educated Eton; entered Foreign Office, 1863; acting senior clerk, 1882-5; senior clerk, 1885-94; assistant under-secretary, 1894-1903; ambassador at Rome, 1903-5; ambassador at Paris, 1905-18.

(4.) See K. Hamilton, Bertie of Thame: Edwardian Ambassador (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1990), pp. 19 f.; L. K. Young, British Policy in China, 1895-1902 (Oxford, 1970), pp. 21 f.

(5.) Cf. memo. Bertie, 18 Nov. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1330.

(6.) Cf. W. H. Dawson, `Imperial Policy in the Old and the New World', in Cambndge History of British Foreign Policy, ed. A. W. Ward and G. P. Gooch. Vol. III: 1866-1919 (Cambridge, 1923), pp. 187-262, at 260 f.; L. M. Penson, Foreign Affairs under the Third Marquis of Salisbury (London, 1962), pp. 5 f.

(7.) Min. Salisbury, n.d. [18 Nov. 1897 ?], PRO, FO 17/1330.

(8.) (Melchior Gustav) Paul Count Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg (1831-1901): educated Berlin University; entered diplomatic service, 1859; Auswartiges Amt, 1870; minister at Madrid, 1874; ambassador at Constantinople, 1878; secretary of state at the Auswartiges Amt, 1882; ambassador at London, 1885-1901.

(9.) Holstein to Hatzfeldt, 13 Nov. 1897, Holstein Papers, iv. 48 ff.; tel. Hohenlohe to Hatzfeldt (no. 326), 16 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3702; tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 218), 16 Nov. 1897, ibid., no. 3703; tel. Holstein to Hatzfeldt (private), 17 Nov. 1897, in Hatzfeldt: Nachgelassene Papiere, ii, no. 714; Rich, Friedrich von Holstein, ii. 562 ff.; Winzen, Englandpolitik, pp. 181 ff.

(10.) Tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 219), 17 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3708.

(1.) Cf. ibid. [my trans.].

(2.) Ibid.; Min. Salisbury, n.d.[18 Nov. 1897 ?], PRO, FO 17/1330.

(3.) Tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 220), 20 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3710.

(4.) Cf. Holstein to Eulenburg, 23 Nov. 1897, in Rich, Friedrich von Holstein, ii. 565; also in Eulenburgs politische Korrespondenz, ii, no. 1352; Winzen's assertion that Holstein was prepared to risk a two-front war because of a coaling station in East Asia (see id., Englandpolitik, p. 187) seems to be somewhat exaggerated. It was not for a naval base in China, about which he had always heen lukewarm (see Rich. pp. 555 ff.), that he was prepared to rish a war with Russia and France. It was rather to maintain Germany's diplomatic independence and her `free hand' that he was resolved to withstand Russian attempts at intimidation. By giving in to Russian pressure at this critical moment Germany would not only have lost her `free hand' but, more importantly, her value as a yotential partner for Britain would have diminished, thus further limiting Germany's diplomatic manoeuvrability.

(5.) Note Rotenhan to Osten-Sacken, 22 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3711.

(6.) Min.Bulow, 30 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3717; tel. Tschirschky to Auswartiges Amt, 1 Dec. 1897, ibid., no. 3718; Goschen to Salisbury (no. 272), PRO, FO 65/1534.

(1.) Pelcovits, Old China Hands, pp. 223 ff; Sargent, Anglo-Chinese Commerce and Diplomacy, pp. 230 f.; C. J. Lowe, Reluctunt Imperialists: British Foreign Policy, 1878-1902 (New York, 1969), pp. 226 f.; D. Judd, Radical Joe: A Life of Joseph Chamberlain (Cardiff, 1993), pp. 204 f.; J. L Garvin, The Life of Joseph Chamberlain. Vol. III: 1895-1900: Empire and World Policy (London, 1934), pp. 248 ff.; K. Kawai, `Anglo-German Rivalry in the Yangtze Region, 1895-1902', Pacific Historical Review, viii (1939), 413-34. Also userul, although written from an American perspective P. A. Varg, `The Myth of the China Market, 1890-1914', American Historical Review, 1xxiii (1967), 742-58.

(2.) Cf. Lowe, Reluctant Imperialists: p. 227.

(3.) Cf. Hansard, 4th ser., vol. lvi (1898), col. 237.

(4.) Sir Thomas Henry Sanderson, Baron Sanderson of Armthorpe (1841-1923) educated Eton; entered Foreign Office, 1859; private secretary to Earl of Derby, 1866-8; to Earl Granville, 1874-80; senior clerk, 1885-9; assistant under-secretary, 1889-94; permanent under-secretary, 1894-1906.

(5.) On the relationship between Bertie and Sanderson, see Hamilton, Bertie of Thame, p. 77; Z. S. Steiner, The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy, 1898-1914 (London/Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1986), pp. 70 f.

(6.) Cf. Sanderson to Salisbury (private), 19 Nov. 1897, Sanderson MSS, PRO, FO 800/2.

(7.) Cf. min. Bertie, 23 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1330.

(8.) Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 59), 17 Nov. 1897, ibid.,FO 17/1314. See also min. Salisbury, n.d. [23 Dec. 1897 ?], FO 17/1330; tel. Bertie to Salisbury, 18 Nov. 1897, FO 17/1314.

(1.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 60), 21 Nov. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1314.

(2.) Min. Salisbury, n.d. [24 Nov. 1897 ?], ibid., FO 17/1330; Salisbury to Chamberlain (private), 30 Dec. 1897, Chamberlain MSS, JC 5/67/88.

(3.) Cf. min. Bertie, 18 Nov. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1314; MacDonald to Bertie (private), 1 Dec. 1897, Bertie MSS, FO 800/162.

(4.) Tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 219), 17 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3708.

(5.) Sanderson to Salisbury (private), 19 Nov. 1897, Sanderson MSS, PRO, FO 800/2; memo. Sanderson, 28 Dec. 1897, ibid.; MacDonald to Bertie (private), 1 Dec. 1897, Bertie MSS, FO 800/162.

(6.) Tel. Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe (no. 220), 20 Nov. 1897, GP, no. 3710.

(7.) Tel. Buller to Admiralty (no. 548), 15 Dec. 1897, PRO, ADM 125/52; report Clarke, 10 Dec. 1897, ibid.; Domville to Clarke, 16 Dec. 1897, ibid.; tel. Buller to Seymour (no. 570), 26 Dec. 1897, ibid. See also tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 71), 25 Nov. 1897, FO 17/1314; Gough to Salisbury (no. 328) 30 Nov. 1897, FO 64/1412; Seymour to Admiralty, 14 Dec. 1897 (copy), FO 17/1330.

(8.) Tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 69), 22 Nov. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1314.

(9.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 63), 23 Nov. 1897, ibid.; min. Campbell, n.d., ibid.; MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 161), 1 Dec. 1897, FO 17/1313.

(1.) Min. Campbell, n.d. [probably 23 Nov. 1897], ibid., FO 17/1314.

(2.) Foreign Office memo., `Kiaochou: Observations on German demands', 8 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1330; for the text, see M. Hurst (ed.), Key Treaties for the Great Powers, 1814-1914. Vol. I: 1814-1870 (Newton Abbot, 1972), no. 70.

(3.) Tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 79), 6 Dec. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1314; MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 172), 15 Dec. 1897, FO 17/1313.

(4.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 67), 8 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1314; Chinese Secretary's Office, record book, 13 and 21 Dec. 1897, FO 233/44.

(5.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 70), 15 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1314.

(6.) Edmund von Heyking (1850-1915), served as Prussian envoy to Hamburg, and German minister at Peking and Belgrade.

(7.) Tel. Heyking to Auswartiges Amt (no. 98), 16 Dec. 1897, GP, no. 3735.

(8.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 70), 15 Dec. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1314.

(9.) MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 175), 16 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1313.

(10.) See, e.g., MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 161), 1 Dec. 1897, ibid.

(1.) Goschen to Salisbury (no. 293), 21 Dec. 1897, ibid., FO 64/1534; Chinese Secretary's Office record book, 21 Dec. 1897, FO 233/44.

(2.) Sir Nicholas Roderick O'Conor (1843-1908): entered diplomatic service, 1866; consul-general at Sofia, 1887-92; envoy extraordinary at Peking, 1892-5; ambassador at St Petersburg, 1895-8; ambassador at Constantinople, 1898-1908.

(3.) Cf. memo. Sanderson (on conversation with O'Conor), 23 Dec. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1330; O'Conor to Sanderson (private), 24 Mar. 1898, Salisbury MSS, Hatfield House, A/129/39.

(4.) Cf. memo. Bertie, [24?] Dec. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1330.

(5.) Tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (private), 23 Nov. 1897, ibid., FO 17/1313.

(6.) Admiral Sir Alexander Buller (1834-1903) entered navy, 1848; served Black Sea, 1854-5, commander-in-chief China Station, 1895-7.

(7.) Cf. tel. MacDonald to Buller, 21 Nov. 1897, PRO, FO 228/1244.

(8.) Tel. Buller to MacDonald, 22 Nov. 1897, ibid.

(9.) For this argument, see Young, British Policy in China, p. 20; J. A. S. Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy: The Close of the Nineteenth Century (London, 1970), p. 130. (1.) Cf. memo. Sanderson, 23 Dec. 1897, Sanderson MSS, PRO, FO 800/2.

(2.) Sir Robert Hart, Bt. (1835-1911) educated Queen's College Belfast; entered Chinese consular service, 1854 joined Chinese customs service, 1859; inspector general of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs service, 1863-1906.

(3.) Cf. Salisbury to Chamberlain, 30 Dec. 1897, Chamberlain MSS, Birmingham University Library, JC 5/67/88; also quoted in Garvin, Life of Joseph Chamberlain, iii. 249. See also Goschen to Salisbury (private), 31 Dec. 1897, Salisbury MSS, vol. Goschen (1897-8).

(4.) Cf. tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 76), 28 Dec. 1897, PRO, FO 17/1314.

(5.) Cf. tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 77), 3 1 Dec. 1897, ibid.

(6.) Min. Salisbury, n.d. [24 Nov. 1897?], ibid. On the financial `background influences', see A. N. Porter, `Lord Salisbury, Foreign Policy and Domestic Finance, 1860-1900, in Salisbury: The Man and his Policies, ed. R. Blake and H. Cecil (London, 1987),pp. 148-84, at 155 ff.;A.L. Friedberg, The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905 (London, 1987), pp. 89 ff.

(1.). Tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 12), 3 Jan. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1340; tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 12), 5 Jan. 1898, ibid.; Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 8), 5 Jan. 1898, FO 64/1437; tel. Bulow to Hatzfeldt (no. 3), GP, no. 3747; Schrecker, Imperialism and Chinese Nationalism, pp. 39 ff.

(2.) Cf. Bulow to Hatzfeldt (no. 42), 8 Jan. 1898, GP, no. 3748 [my trans.].

(3.) Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 136), 30 Apr. 1898, PRO, FO 64/1437.

(4.) MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 98), 27 May 1898, ibid., Fo 17/1334.

(5.) Enclosed in Carnegie to Salisbury (no. 261), 11 June 1906, ibid., FO 405/167/2584

(6.) Salisbury to Lascelles (no. 14), 12 Jan. 1898, ibid., FO 64/1436; tel. Hatzfeld to Bulow (no 7), 12 Jan. 1898, GP, no. 3750.

(7.) Ibid.

(8.) Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy, pp. 143 f.; Salisbury to Chamberlain (private), 3 Jan. 1898, Chamberlain MSS, JC 5/7; Salisbury to Queen victoria, 23 Jan. 1898, PRC, CAB 41/24/25B.

(1.) Cf. I. Nish, The Anglo-Japanese Alliance: A Study of Two Island Empires (London, 1966), p. 51 see also MacDonald to Salisbury (private), 4 Feb. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1333; MacDonald to Bertie (private), 1 Dec. 1897, Bertie MSS, FO 800/162; on the negotiations, see Grenville, Salisbury and Foreign Policy, pp. 136 ff.; A. Malozemoff, Russian Far Eastern Policy, 1881-1904 (Berkeley, CA, 1958), pp. 102 ff.

(2.) Penson, Foreign Affairs under the Third Marquis of Salisbury, p. 19.

(3.) O'Conor to Salisbury (no. 128), 29 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 65/1553; Malozemoff, Russian Far Eastern Policy, pp. 119 ff.

(4.) See D. Gillard, The Struggle for Asia, 1828-1914: A Study in British and Russian Imperialism (London, 1977), pp. 162 f.; W. L Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902 (2nd edn., New York, 1965), pp. 461 f.

(5.) Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy, pp. 142 f.; A. D. Elliot, The Life of George Joachim Goschen, First Viscount Goschen, 1831-1907, vol. ii (2nd edn., London, 1911), pp. 209 f.; s. E. C. Dugdale, Arthur James Balfour, First Earl of Balfour. Vol. 1: 1848-1905 (London, 1939), pp. 192 f.; D. Dilks, Curzon in India. Vol. 1: Achievement (London, 1969), pp. 56 f.; Garvin, Life of Joseph Chamberlain, iii 251 ff.

(6.) Cf. tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 48), 19 Feb. 1898, PRO, Fo 17/1340.

(7.) Lascelles tO Salisbury (no. 65), 26 Feb. 1898, ibid., Fo 64/1437; Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 62), 4 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(1.) Tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 57), 25 Feb. 1898, ibid., FO 17/1340; tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no 62), 8 Mar. 1898, ibid.; Macdonald to Tsungli Yamen, 3 Mar. 1898 (copy), FO 17/1334.

(2.) Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 81), 16 Mar. 1898, ibid., Fo 64/1437.

(3.) (Sir) Henry George Outram Bax-Ironside (1859-1929) educated Eton, Exeter College, Oxford; entered diplomatic service, 1883; minister resident Caracas, 1902-7; minister plenipotentiary to Chile, 1907-9; to Switzerland, 1909-10; to Bulgaria, 1910-15.

(4.) Cf. memo. Bax-Ironside, n.d., encl. in MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 38), 26 Feb. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1333

(5.) Sir Frank Cavendish Lascelles (1841-1920) educated Harrow; entered Foreign Office, 1861; consul-general to Bulgaria, 1879-87; minister ar Bucharest, 1887-91; at Teheran, 1891-4; ambassador at St Petersburg, 1894-5; at Berlin, 1895-1908.

(6.) Cf. Bertie to Lascelles (private), 16 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 64/1437.

(7.) cf. tel. MacDonald to Salisbury, 2s Feb. 1898, in British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1917, ed G. P. Gooch and H. W. V. Temperley, vols i-ii (London, 1926 [hereafter BD]), i, no. 25.

(8.) Memo. Bertie, 14 Mar. 1898, ibid., no.24; memo. Ardagh, 14 June 1898, Ardagh MSS, PRO 30/40/14/2 (also in CO, 521/1; E.Z. Sun, `The Lease of Wei-hai-Wei', in Pacific Historical Review xix (1950), 277-83, at 278 f.

(1.) Ibid. 280. The Tsungli Yamen was, however, forced to give MacDonald a pledge that the Yangtze region would remain open or become a British sphere of influence: see tel. Macdonald to Salisbury (no. 69), 10 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1340.

(2.) Sun, `Wei-hai-Wei', 282; Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, p. 54.

(3.) Balfour to Salisbury (private), 14 Mar. 1898, Balfour MSS, B[ritish] L[ibrary], Add. MS 49691.

(4.) Cf. Balfour to MacDonald, 7 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1338; Sanderson to Lascelles (no. 73), 30 Mar. 1898, FO 244/562.

(5.) Cf. tel. MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 71), 10 Mar. 1898, ibid., FO 17/1340; see also Satow to Salisbury (no. 38), 23 Mar. 1898, FO 46/496; Satow Diary, 16 Mar. 1898, Satow MSS, PRO 30/33/16/1.

(6.) Tel. Balfour to Satow (no. 9), 10 Mar. 1898, BD, i. no. 28.

(7.) Satow Diary, loc. cit.

(8.) Satow to Salisbury (no. 38), 23 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 46/496; Satow to Salisbury (private), 23 Mar. and 6 Apr. 1898, Salisbury MSS, A/126/37 and 38.

(9.) Tel. Balfour to Queen Victoria, 18 Mar. 1898, PRO, CAB 41/24/32; min. Curzon, n.d. [but before September 1898 as initialled GNC], Curzon MSS, Eur. F. 112/368.

(10). Chamberlain to Balfour (private), 3 Feb. 1898, Chamberlain MSS, JC 5/5/70; Goschen to Balfour (private), 27 Mar. 1898, Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49706.

(1.) Min Curzon, n.d., Curzon MSS, loc. cit. Garvin, Life of Joseph Chamberlain, iii. 252 ff., Elliot Life of George Joachim Goschen, ii. 209 f.; J. A. S. Grenville, `Lord Lansdowne's Abortive Project of 12 March 1901 for a Secret Agreement with Germany,, in Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, xxvii (1954), 201-13

(2.) Balfour to Goschen (private), 26 Feb. 1898, Balfour MSS, loc. cit.

(3.) Ibid.

(4.) Memo. Salisbury, 29 May 1901, BD, ii, no. 86; Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy, pp. 3 54 f.; Penson, Foreign Affairs under the Third Marquis of Salisbury, pp. 17 f.; G. W. Monger, The End of Isolation: British Foreign Policy, 1900-1907 (London, 1963), pp. 36 ff.; G. S. Papadopoulos, `Lord Salisbury and the Projected Anglo-German Alliance of 1898, in Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, xxvi (1953), 214-18.

(5.) Min. Salisbury, 22 Mar. 1898, BD, i, no. 34; tel. Balfour to Queen Victoria, 22 Mar. 1898, PRO, CAB 41/24/33; Min. Curzon, n.d., Curzon MSS, loc. cit.; Garvin, Life of Joseph Chamberlain, iii. 253 Dugdale, Balfour, 192 f.

(6.) Dilks, Curzon in India, i. 57 f.

(7.) Amongst Curzon's writings on Asian issues are Russia in Central Asia in 1889 and the Anglo Russian Question (London, 1889), Persia and the Persian Question (2 vols., London, 1892), and Problems of the Far East: Japan -- Korea -- China (London, 1894, rev. edn. 1896).

(1.) Min. Curzon, n.d., Curzon MSS, loc. cit.

(2.) Ibid.; id., `Memorandum on the Advantages of a British Lease of Wei-hai-Wei', 14 Mar. 1898, Curzon MSS, Eur. F. 112/363; memo. Bertie, 14 Mar. 1898, BD, i, no. 24; see also memo. Balfour, 14 Mar. 1898, Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49746. Curzon's memorandum was at first only shown to the six most senior ministers (Balfour, Chamberlain, Goschen, the Duke of Devonshire, Hicks Beach, and Lansdowne), but was subsequently made available to the full Cabinet: see min. Curzon, Sept. 1898, Cutzon MSS, loc. cit.

(3.) Cf. memo. Bertie, 14 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(1.) cf. memo. Curzon, 14 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(2.) Cf. memo. Bertie, 14 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(3.) Cf. memo. Curzon, 14 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(4.) Balfour to Goschen (private), 23 Mar. 1898, Balfour MSS, BL Add. MS 49706; tel. Balfour to Queen Victoria, 26 Mar. 1898,PRO, CAB 41/24/34; min. Curzon, n.d., Curzon MSS, Eur. F. 112/368. Young, British Policy in China, p. 72, gives 25 March as the date of the cabinet decision, but it seems he mistook the instructions for MacDonald of that day (see next n.) for the cabinet decision.

(5.) Tel. Salisbury to MacDonald (no. 109), 25 Mar. 1898 R, BD, i, no. 39; tel. MacDonald to Rear-Adm. Fitzgerald, 1 Apr. 1898, PRO, FO 228/1277; tel. MacDonald to Barrington (private), 1 Apr. 1898, Salisbury MSS, A/106/9.

(6.) Tel. Admiralty to Seymour (no. 49), 26 Mar. 1898, PRo, ADM 125/88; Goschen to Balfour (private), 27 Mar. 1898, Balfour MSS, loc. cit.

(7.) MacDonald to Salisbury (no. 73), 10 Apr. 1898, PRO, FO 17/1334.

(8.) Memo. King-Hall, 24 May 1898, encl. in Seymour to Admiralty (no. 230), 2 June 1898, ibid., ADM 125/88; journal Rear-Adm. Fitzgerald, 27 May 1898, ADM 50/379; G. King-Hall diary, 24 May 1898, in Sea Saga: Being the Naval Diaries of Four Generations of the King-Hall Family, ed. L. King-Hall (London, 1935), pp. 303 f.

(1.) Tel. MacDonald to Seymour, 1 July 1898, PRO, FO 228/1277; Chinese Secretary's Office, record book, 1 July 1898, FO 233/44.

(2.) Cf. Lascelles tO Salisbury (no. 105), 7 Apr. 1898, ibid., FO 64/1437; Sanderson to Lascelles (no. 73), 30 Mar. 1898, FO 244/562; min. Klehmet, 4 Apr. 1898, GP, no. 3760; tel. Bulow to Hatzfeldt (no. 99),4 Apr. 1898, ibid., no.3761.

(3.) See, e.g., Lansdowne to Balfour (private), 18 Jan. 1905, Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49729; Steiner, The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy, pp. 177 f.

(4.) Sanderson to Lascelles (no. 55), 9 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 244/562; and (no. 73), 30 Mar. 1898, ibid.

(5.) Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 105), 7 Apr. 1898, ibid., FO 64/1437; anon. min. [Sanderson?], n.d. [9(?)Apr. 1898], Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49739.

(6.) Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy, p. 149.

(7.) Balfour to Sanderson, 9 Apr. 1898, Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49738; tel Hatzfeldt to Bulow (no. 77), 5 Apr. 1898, GP, no. 3763.

(8.) Sanderson to Lascelles (no. 75), 29 Mar. 1898, PRO, FO 244/562; balfour to Sanderson (private), 10 Apr. 1898, Balfour MSS, loc. cit.; tel. Bulow to Wilhelm II, 9 Apr. 1898, GP, no. 3769.

(9.) Cf. Hansard, 4th ser., vol. lvi (1898), colt 232.

(10.) Min. curzon, n.d., curzon MSS, loc. cit.

(1.) Cf. Balfour to Goschen (private), 23 Mar. 1898, BalfOur MSS, BL, Add. MS 49706.

(2.) Tel. Hatzfeld to Bulow (private), 29 Mar. 1898, GP, no. 3782; memo. Chamberlain, 29 Mar. 1898, Chamberlain MSS, JC 7/2/2A/3.

(3.) Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy, pp. 152 ff.; Young, British Policy in China, pp. 72 f. Garvin, Life of Joseph Chawherlain, iii. 259 f.; Dugdale, Balfour, i. 194; S. H. Zebel, Balfour: A Political Biography (Cambridge, 1973), p. 95; K. Young, Arthur James Balfour (London, 1963), p. 182; M. Egremont, Balfour: A Life of Arthur James Balfour (London, 1980), pp. 138 i., P. Fraser, Joseph Chamberlain: Radicalism and Empire, 1868-1914 (London, 1966), pp. 174 f.

(4.) Balfour to Salisbury (private), 14 Apr. 1898, Balfour MSS, BL, Add. MS 49691.

(5.) See, e.g., Brodrick to Chamberlain (private), 7 Sept. 1900, Chamberlain MSS, JC 11/8/2, tel. Goschen to Salisbury (private), 4 Sept. 1900, Salisbury MSS, A/89/70. In the course of the discussions Balfour assured the `anti-isolationist,, "pro-German, group in the Cabinet of his full concurrence with their views, yet studiously avoided making his position generally known.

(6.) Cf. Balfour to Salisbury (private), 14 Apr. 1898, Balfour MSS, loc. cit.

(7.)Min. Sanderson, 13 Apr. 1898, ibid., Add. MS 49738.

(8.) Cf. Lascelles to Bulow, 20 Apr. 1898, BD, i, no. 52; tel. Bulow to Wilhelm II, 21 Apr. 1898, GP, no 3770.

(1.) Cf. Lascelles to Salisbury (no. 168), 26 May 1898, PRO, FO 64/1438.

(2.) Balfour to MacDonald, 30 Mar. 1898, ibid., FO 17/1338; Admiralty to Treasury (no. DW 2059/99), 14 June 1899, ADM 116/552; memo. Ardagh, `Wei-hai-Wei', 12 Apr. 1898, Ardagh MSS, PRO 30/40/14/2.

(3.) Admiralty memo., `Port Arthur -- Talienwan -- Wei-hai-wei', 4 Apr. 1898, Salisbury MSS, A/93/30; memo. Col. Lewis, RE, `Report on the Proposed Defences of the Naval Establishment at Wei-hai-Wei', 11 Sept. 1898, PRO, CAB 11/59; Smith-Dorrien to Seymour, 25 May 1898, ADM 116/552; Seymour to Admiralty (no. 270), 16 June i898, ADM 125/88; memo. Ardagh, `Is W[ei-]h[ai-]W[ei] Worth Keeping ?', n.d. [Apr. 1900?], Ardagh MSS, PRO 30/40/22/1. See also E. G. Bruce-Mitford, The Territory of Wei-hai-Wei (Shanghai, 1902); O. J. R. Howarth, `Wei-hai-Wei', The Oxford Survey of the British Empire, ed. Howarth and A. J. Herbertson. Vol. 11: Asia (Oxford, 1914), pp. 448-53.

(4.) War Office to Admiralty (no. 206/WHW/107), 7 June 1901, PRO, CAB 11/59.

(1.) Cf. memo. Brodrick, 19 Mar. 1901, G. W. Balfour MSS, ibid., PRO 30/60/36.

(2.) Cf. war Office to Admiralty, as supra, p. 1177, n. 4.

(3.) Cf. report Joint (War Office/Admiralty) committee on Wei-hai-Wei, n.d. [April 1899], PRO ADM 116/552; Knox (WO) to Admiralty (no. 206/WHW/49), 1 May 1899, ibid.; Admiralty to war Office, 1 June 1899, ibid.; Admiralty to Treasury (no. DW 2059/99), 14 Feb. 1899, ibid.

(4.) Memo. Brodrick, 19 Mar. 1901, G. W. BalfOur MSS, loc. cit. Seymour to Admiralty (no. 270), 16 June 1898, PRO, ADM 125/88 (also in ADM 116/552 and CAB 1/2/35); min. Field Marshall Roberts, 13 Mar. 1901, WO 32/8244) In fact the value of Wei-hai-Wei to Britain became so doubtful that at some stage the question was pondered whether the place was at all worth keeping see memo. Ardagh, n.d. [probably Apr. 1900], Ardagh MSS, PRO 30/40/22/1; Ommaney to Foreign office (no., 27 June 1905, CO 521/8; tel. Lansdowne to Satow, 13 Oct. 1905 (copy), ibid.

(5.) Cf. tel. Macdonald to Salisbury (no. 71), 10 Mar. 1898, ibid., FO 17/1340; memo. Bertie, 14 Mar. 1898, BD, i, no. 24; memo. Curzon, 14 Mar. 1898, Curzon MSS, loc. cit.

(6.) See, e.g., Mahan's excursion on Gibraltar A. T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1787 (repr. Mineola, NY, 1987), pp. 29 f.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A17837753