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The Fight For The Republic in China eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 444 pages of information about The Fight For The Republic in China.
We are so anxious about the matter that we have striven so to apply the law to meet the circumstances as to carry out our designs.  It is out of patriotic motives that we have adopted the policy of adhering to the law, whenever possible, and, at the same time, of yielding to expediency, whenever necessary.  During the progress of this scheme there may have been certain letters and telegrams, both official and private, which have transgressed the bounds of the law.  They will become absolutely useless after the affair is finished.’  Moreover, no matter how carefully their secrets may have been guarded, still they remain as permanent records which might compromise us; and in the event of their becoming known to foreigners, we shall not escape severe criticism and bitter attacks, and, what is worse, should they be handed down as part of the national records, they will stain the opening pages of the history of the new dynasty.  The Central Government, after carefully considering the matter, has concluded that it would be better to sort out and burn the documents so as to remove all unnecessary records and prevent regrettable consequences.  For these reasons you are hereby requested to sift out all telegrams, letters, and dispatches concerning the change in the form of the state, whether official or private, whether received from Peking or the provinces (excepting those required by law to be filed on record), and cause the same to be burnt in your presence.  As for those which have already been communicated to the local officials, you are likewise requested to order them to be returned immediately; to commit them to the flames; and to report to this Bureau for future reference the total number of documents so destroyed.
The present change in the form of the state constitutes the most glorious episode of our national history.  Not only is this far superior to the succession of dynasties by right of conquest or in virtue of voluntary transfer (as in the days of Yao and Shun), but it compares favourably with all the peaceful changes that have taken place in western politics.  Everything will be perfect if whatever mars it (meaning the documents) is done away with.

    All of you have acquired greatness in founding the dynasty.  You will
    doubtless concur with us, and will, we earnestly hope, lose no time
    in cautiously and secretly carrying out our request.

    We respectfully submit this to your consideration and wait for a
    reply.

    (Signed) NATIONAL CONVENTION BUREAU.

FOOTNOTES: 

[18] A very remarkable illustration of the manner in which Yuan Shih-kai was trapped by official Japan during the monarchist movement has recently been extensively quoted in the Far Eastern press.  Here is the substance of a Japanese (vernacular) newspaper account showing the uses to which Japanese politicians put the Press: 

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