File No. 861.00/1973

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


The agitation recently renewed in favor of armed intervention in Siberia continues quite vigorously. The General Staff appears to be using every effort to force a decision. Several French officers returning from Russia now are urging immediate action. The subject is again becoming the chief topic of newspaper discussions.

The Diplomatic Advisory Council met yesterday and it is reported that the meeting which lasted the greater part of the day was devoted [Page 196] to the discussion of conditions in Siberia. The diplomatic aspects of the question are being discussed by Japan and Great Britain. Immediately after assuming office, Baron Goto expressed to my British colleague his desire to reconsider the entire subject. Subsequently he authorized Baron Chinda to discuss the question with the British Foreign Office on the ground that the Government of Great Britain had never submitted any definite proposal to the Government of Japan. Lord Robert Cecil reaffirmed the position of Great Britain as expressed in the memorandum of March 10, giving the views of the British General Staff, and reported in my telegram of March 12, 2 p.m.1 He further explained that no formal request had been made on behalf of the Allies because the President of the United States did not favor the plan suggested and inquired if the Japanese Government was still willing to undertake intervention if requested. At the same time my British colleague has reopened the informal discussions here and is apparently endeavoring to persuade the Government of Japan to propose some plan of its own which may be submitted to the Allied Governments as an alternative to independent action by Japan in the protection of its national interests.

Semenov’s success was short lived and his movement appears to be disintegrating.

  1. Ante, p. 78.