SETTLEMENT OF THE CHINESE QUARREL. (Wellington Independent, 22 March 1861)

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settlement of the chinese quarrel from the european times december 26j the unexpected news of the intelligence of peace with china following immediately the arrival of tho despatches by the last overlaud mail has caused increased anxiety respecting the fate of the missing prisoners the russian despatch transmitted from st petersburg by our ambassador there announcing the conclusion of hostilities reached downiug-street at the very moment when the cabinet had met to discuss the policy which ought to be pursued when the capital of china and necessarily the empire lay at the mercy of the english and frenoh troops the timely arrival of the intelligence transmitted from st peters burg rendered further deliberation unnecessary and the cabinet it is unnessary to say broke up in much better spirits than it assembled animated with the most commendable anxiety regarding the fate of the missing prisoners the telegraph wires in communication with st petersburg were again put into action to ascertain if possible whether any additional light could be thrown ou the whereabouts of captain brabazon and mr bowlby the special correspondent of the london times but the answer unhappily was in the negative since then the london correspondent of a manchester contemporary has furnished from his own sources of information a very gratifying announcement gratifying that is to say if true this gentleman states that a letter was recently received from the secretary of admiral jones of the imperieuse dated the 16th october announcing that news had been received of the return of the prisoners including mr bowlby the letter is said to be dated two day later than lord elgin latest despatch this was the position in which matters i stood until yesterday when another tele 1 gram from st petersburg announced two facts on the authority of general ignatieff the russian representative at the court of pekin first the ratification and publication of the treaty with china and secondly the massacre by the chinese of nineteen prisoners inoluding mr de norman captain anderson mr bowlby the intendant of the frenoh expedition a colonel of artillery and an aide-de-camp the terms of the new i convention are still unknown but the moniteur announces that the french are to have two millions sterling towards their war expenses if this be so our indemnity must be at least three or four times as gieat to cover the heavier outlay to which we have been put but the money part of the question though not important is subsidiary to the interest felt for the poor fellows who are said to have been butchered the daily news entertains hope even yet but the times is in despair the first-named paper finds this loop for encouragement lord elgin makes no mention ofthe prisoners the omission willbe variously interpreted we take it as a sign that he did not regard as conclusive the reports which had doubtless reached him had he believed that he had grounds for making a positive statement respecting the prisoners he would hardly have failed to transmit one because of its unfavourable character general ignatioff sends a categoric statement respecting three english and three french prisoners massacred by the chinese two of the former being mrde norman and captain anderson of whose death we were informed twelve days ago while the third is the correspondent of the times and we cannot but admit that his report seriously diminishes the ground for hoping for mr bowlby restoration to his friends still we may point out that the date of the general despatch is not known and that unless it is later than that of lord elgin letter our ambassador reserve for which he must havo had a reason may be set against the belief of the minister of another nation more especially as we are unacquainted with the evidence on whioh general tgnatieff has drawn up his report these conjectures though ingenious do not appear to influenoe the journal whioh mr bowlby represented for it says the account given by general ignaueff is somewhat loose and does not bear the mark of any very close inquiry it does not mention the name of captain brabazon but it must be of a date much later than the signing ofthe treat and it appears also to have been dis i patched after the retirement of the army from pekin it is positive to the effect that mr bowlby had not been brought in alive at that time and when we remember how impossible it is that lord elgin should have left the chinese capital while there was a doubt remaining as to the fate of any english prisoner missing i from his side or that baron gros could have accompanied him while there was yet one frenchman unaccounted for there is we are compelled to admit but one reasonable conclusionthat this gentleman has perished in the execution of that public duty whioh he discharged with so much energy and with such great ability everyone has for many days listened for news of his fate witb an almost personal iuterest and will receive this too probable information of his death as of a personal loss the times strongly censures the reckless conduct of mr parkes the chief interpreter to the expedition and attributes to him the arrest of the prisoners and their subsequent calamities his remaining says that journal after he found that the ground was occupied by the chinese in force his still further dallying wben the prince had given him warning by his insolent manner that he thought himself able o throw off the mask and drop the tactics of delay his turning back after all his suspicions had been aroused and when he and his companions were already half in flight and had arrived within easy reaoh of the english lines his pulling up even at the last moment and leaving his escort obliged in honour to wait for him without a choice either to run or to fight these are facts wbich throw upon mr parkes a heavy responsibility mr parkes was imprisoned and suffered the direst cruelties and the most studied insults and paid heavily in person for the indisoretion of which he was guilty but tbere is no denying the fact that this strong censure on his wayward and very foolish proceedings is as just as it is true and unimpeachable mr parkes seems to be a clever energetic thoughtless man who entertains a profound contempt for the people with whom we were at war and a belief that they would not dare to hurt a hair of one of our countrymen he was undeceived but it is extremely unfortunate that his want of judgment should havejfcaused so many vuluable lives to be sacrificed wantonly and needlessly to the chances of war all persons must submit who miugle iv it but here the english interpreter deliberately run into the noose with his eyes open aud took no pains to get out of it even when he had the opportunity but rising from personal to political considerations we hope now that the war is over that means will be taken to enable our representatives in china to get on better with the native authorities there than they have done for reoent years the americans and the russians who have only recently established themselves in china show us an example which we ought not to be above imitating oivility with such a peouliar and sensitive people is much better than bluster the following passage which we take from mr buchanan last message to congress is ja biting sarcasm on our policy the friendly aud peaceful policy he says pursued by the government of the united states towards the empire of china has produced the most satisfactory results the treaty of tien-tzin ofthe isth of june 1858 has been faithfully observed by the chinese authorities that is the americans by a course of action have attained what we have only been enabled to realise by a large effusion of human blood and a display of great physical prowess there is wisdom in the example if our rulers will compel their subordinates to follow it


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