File No. 861.00/985

The Ambassador in Japan ( Morris) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

Minister for Foreign Affairs requested me on the 17th to inquire of my Government, first, whether it had yet considered what action [Page 356]should be taken by the candidates [United States] in the event the present de facto Russian government should send envoys to replace those now serving. Reports indicate that Japan will face this problem in the near future. Secondly, whether my Government has considered what policy it would adopt towards Russia if a treaty of peace were concluded between the de facto Russian government and the Central powers.

Minister for Foreign Affairs in this interview volunteered most earnest expression of devotion to the Allied powers’ cause, personal loyalty to the Anglo-Japanese allegiance [alliance] and the desire of his Government for the closest cooperation in [between] Japan and the United States in attaining the purpose of the war as set forth in the President’s recent message; finally he expressed his gratification at the personal message which the President at a recent interview [gave] Ambassador Sato. The entire interview was a matter for curious contrast to Baron Goto’s previous conversations with me. Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me Sato would not return to America and I am reliably informed that Baron Goto is making a very vigorous campaign for the appointment of Dr. Nitobe as his successor. The Foreign Office is reported opposed to this selection.

Morris