File No. 761.94/97

Ambassador Guthrie to the Secretary of State

No. 549

Sir: I have the honor to state that the leading vernacular newspapers of today report that negotiations at Petrograd looking to the conclusion of a Russo-Japanese convention are proceeding favorably, and that the signature thereof is expected in the near future.

The Jiji Shimpo makes the following statement in regard to the alleged terms of the convention:

It is based upon the idea that in case the action of a third power (this refers to Germany) endangers the special rights and interests of Japan and Russia in China, Japan and Russia will take joint measures to check such action. It also enunciates, in consonance with the spirit of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, the principle of the preservation of the territorial integrity of China.

The newspapers further report that negotiations for the sale to Japan of a part of the Chinese Eastern Railway are now rapidly progressing toward a satisfactory conclusion.

The Nichi Nichi Shimbun states that, while Japan desired the entire line between Changchun and Harbin, it has been decided to limit the transfer to the section between the former city and the Second Sungari Station, a distance of somewhat more than 75 miles, and that memoranda in this sense have, apparently, already been exchanged between Baron Motono and the Russian Government. The price is reported to be 14,000,000 yen.

The same journal says that Russia has agreed to the sale in appreciation of the assistance rendered by Japan in undertaking the supply of war materials.

I have [etc.]

Geo. W. Guthrie