The Acting Secretary of State to the Japanese Minister.
Washington, March 24, 1905.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Navy Department has acquainted me with a communication from the commandant of the Mare Island Navy-Yard transmitting a letter from the commander of the dismantled Russian ship Lena requesting that one of the seamen of the Lena, Nicholas Starikoff, who had been recruited in the compulsory service by mistake, be given permission to return to Russia.
From the indorsements accompanying the communication it appears that there was a mistake made three years ago by which Starikoff was drawn for the five years’ compulsory service and that he took the place of another man whose name should have been drawn; that Starikoff was therefore properly exempt from military or naval service three years ago and would not have been required to serve at all had not the mistake occurred.
The officers and men of the Russian ship Lena being paroled in fulfillment of the neutrality of the United States, this government is disposed, in the exceptional circumstances recited in this case, to discharge Nicholas Starikoff from his parole, provided that course is agreeable to your government. If this is acceptable to the Japanese Government, I should be glad to have you inform me whether any conditions or restraints would be required, as between your government and the seaman, in granting the desired permission to return to Russia.