Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., Ltd,
Text on page 161
THE CONSENT OF YUAN-SHI-KAI
LI-YUAN-HUNG, VICE-PRESIDENT AT UTCHANG,
Utchang, 14th February.
I have taken note of your last telegram which announced the initiation of the Republic.
The whole nation acclaims the suppression of the Empire and the advent of the new regime celebrating the peace which follows the horrors of war, and attributing to you all the merits of success.
You have telegraphed me that in view of the actual situation you could not come South. I render homage to your noble preoccupations. I know that you never cease in your aim to bring peace to the country.
How can I express all the respectful esteem with which I am filled for you ? However, the aspirations of the country are such that it is essential that you endeavour to meet the public wish. The constitution of a Central Government is without doubt necessary. The centre which seems most adapted is Hankow. I have already instructed Field-Marshal Viceroy Tuan to explain my ideas on the subject to you.
If you are of my opinion I beg of you to send the delegates of the regions of the North as soon as possible ; they will come to Parliament with our delegates, so as to elect the President of the Republic, nominate the principal Members of the new Government and decide which shall be the seat of this Government.
As soon as I receive you answer I will telegraph the Pro-
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