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walls having been one of the punitive measures following the Boxer uprising in 1900-lies in the angle of the Grand Canal and the Haiho. Its suburbs stretch for miles on both sides of both these streams, and of the Peiho on the north, and the foreign settlements lie to the south on both sides of the Haiho. Narrow strips along the banks of the streams are above the present flood level, fortunately sufficiently wide at the site of the walled city to include the whole of that site.


In 1900 the city of Tientsin and the foreign settlements, with their million of inhabitants were partially if not completely protected from local inundation by a mud wall forming an enceinte some twenty miles in circumference. One never used to hear of this mudwall as a defence against flood. It is said to have been built by the Mongol General San Ko Lin Sun-"Sam Collinson" of the British Tommies of 1860-as a defence of Tientsin against British and French attack. After 1860 it fell into decay or was partially razed, but it was restored in 1880 when there was talk of war with Russia over the latter's encroachments in Eastern Turkestan. But the value of the mud wall as a defence against flood, if supplemented by adequate banking of the rivers within its enceinte, should have been obvious to all who knew the flood history of Tientsin and were responsible for its protection. Immunity from flood since 1893 led officials and people to forget its other than military uses and to employ its earth, always a valuable commodity where land has to be raised to be habitable, for other more immediately remunerative purposes. The foreign concession municipalities participated in the forgetting, though of course not in the public and private graft of the Chinese, and entirely removed or reduced the height of the wall where it passed through the districts of their jurisdiction. On October the fifth, 1917, the voters of the British Concession and Municipal Extension in meeting assembled authorized their councils to construct a dyke around the British Concession and the Municipal Extension at a cost of approximately 50,000 dollars of American currency. The French and Japanese Concessions lying successively north of the British are taking similar steps. The Chinese authorities controlling the ex-German Concession have called

meeting of land-holders for the same purpose of constructing a dyke.

It is estimated by competent engineering authority that the restoration of the old mudwall in its entirety together with the improvement of the banking of the rivers within the city limits and the necessary pumping installations will cost about 1,000,000 dollars, and short of the presently not-to-be-expected control of the flood-causing rivers, that work is the only means of preserving the million inhabitants of Tientsin from a recurrence of the evils they are now suffering from. The population of the plains cannot be surely and permanently protected save by works which would cost far more than the present available resources of the Government can provide. The control of the Yung Ting or Hun River alone would cost some 40,000,000 dollars.


The number of refugees at time of writing well cared for in Tientsin is estimated at some 60,000 in refugee camps and an equal number in the houses and huts of relatives and friends. Other cities have doubtless received other large numbers. Many villagers remain in the country on the dry land nearest to their villages or in country towns, hoping the waters will fall before the frost and allow them to go back to their homes. Disappointment in this hope may drive all these to the cities also. Those whose village mounds are above flood level have not stirred, of these are probably the large majority of the inhabitants of the flooded districts save in so far as some of the able-bodied have gone abroad to seek means of earning a living for themselves and their families at home. No one is yet able to estimate the amount of relief even these villagers may require to see them safely through the winter and spring. Where the flood waters do disappear in time for the planting of winter wheat the flood will not have been without its good, for it will be followed by a bumper spring crop. The water soaked land will make the farmers independent of spring rains, always a doubtful quantity in North China. Unfortunately there are many districts where it is now feared that the water will remain for months and even years, and if it be years the only remedy for the inhabitants of such districts will be wholesale emigration to the untilled lands of Manchuria and Mongolia,


BOATS OF A RED CROSS FLOOD RELIEF COMMISSION The Chinese authorities and the Chinese Red Cross did all in their power for the victims of the 1917 floods, aided by the American Red Cross and the Young Men's Christian Association



The City of Tientsin was protected by a wall of twenty miles in circumference; but during a long period of immunity from flood, a great deal of the wall was removed for other purposes

a difficult and costly work for the Government to undertake.

Speaking for the Tientsin district alone information about other districts is slow to come in the Chinese authorities, the Chinese Red Cross, and private relief committees have done all that has been immediately necessary to provide food and temporary mat-shed shelter for the destitute 60,000 so far thrown upon the charity of Tientsin. Private subscriptions have been received from the Chinese of Shanghai and other wealthy centres but the amounts thus realized will not go far toward meeting the demands of the next six months. The Central Government has negotiated an emergency loan from foreign banks, and there is talk of further domestic loans not only for flood relief but also for flood prevention. Local foreign assistance in times of disaster in China has always been most generous, and naturally enough one of the first things the Chinese authorities did in Tientsin and Pekin was to send a subscription list to all the foreign firms, but local foreigners are not now so well able to assist with money as they were before the Great War made so many calls upon them.

On the other hand among the most active contributors to actual relief work is an association of the Christian Missions and the Young Men's Christian Association of Tientsin and their Chinese members and sympathizers, known as the Tientsin Christian Union Relief Committee, whose labors in sanitation, medical relief and preparation and distribution of supplies will some day form interesting reading to those whose hearts have been moved by the present distress of Tientsin and the country about it. With this Committee the Christian Societies of Pekin are also in some sort joining forces, and the American Red Cross has made a generous appropriation and the organization of a strong committee to see to its economical and effective application.

The immediate need is for winter quarters for those now housed in mat-sheds and those still to come in from the country. The cost of one room in a row of huts, sufficient for the average family of five will not be more than nine dollars, built chiefly of reeds or sorghum stalks daubed with mud. And this cost will include the "K'ang" (the bed and stove in

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There are many flooded districts in China where the water may remain for months and even years and the only remedy

for the natives will be wholesale emigration

one) kept warm with a minimum of fuel, and absolutely necessary in the cold winter of North China.

Warm clothing, cotton-wadded, will also be required for each refugee. To this need the American ladies forming the volunteer workers for the Red Cross in Tientsin and Pekin are giving their especial attention, but their work with Chinese refugee sewing women can fill only a small part of the demand.


It is estimated that each refugee can be fed at a cost of ten cents a day, but nevertheless the feeding of the refugees is the most serious problem, for even at ten cents a day.

the 60,000 refugees already dependent on charity in Tientsin will require 6,000 dollars per day, and their need may last six months, or more, while there are other untold thousands not here taken into account.

The sum of the whole matter is that a tremendous work is to be done requiring large sums of money. The Chinese Government has not the resources to do the work unaided. Private Chinese capital is largely apathetic. All that American charity can spare for faraway China in this strange time when all the world is making calls upon American charity will be needed, and through the agencies now at work will be rightly expended, and the general suffering will be somewhat relieved.



To control the Yung Ting or Hun River alone would cost about 40,000 000 dollars, and in addition the population of the plains cannot be permanently protected save by works which would cost far more than the total available resour ces of the Chinese Government

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