The Secretary of State to the Japanese Minister.

No. 230.]

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war, and acknowledging the receipt of your note of yesterday’s date with reference to the desire of your government to obtain the surrender before the winter season is advanced of the Japanese sick prisoners at Harbin and Irkutsk, I have the honor to advise you of the receipt of a telegram, late last evening, from the American chargé d’affaires ad interim at St. Petersburg, in which he reports information furnished to him by the Russian minister of foreign affairs, in substance as follows:

The latest list shows that there are 2,059 prisoners of war in the Russian Empire, of whom 103 are officers. Of the total prisoners 1,732 soldiers and 99 officers are in European Russia and will be sent out of the country via Wirballen, including the 215 sick and wounded, who will be sent to Wirballen in a hospital train. There remain 4 officers and 224 soldiers in the theater of war, and it is proposed that the commanders in chief of the Japanese and Russian armies arrange for the exchange of prisoners of war there.

Mr. Eddy adds that the Russian Government desires a reply to the above proposal, and that owing partly to recent disturbances the date of the dispatch of prisoners of war via Wirballen has not yet been decided upon.

The coincidental receipt of Mr. Eddy’s telegram and your note of yesterday made the dispatch of a further telegram to him unnecessary.

Accept, etc.,

Elihu Root.