File No. 861.00/2262

The Chargé in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State


The following telegram received to-day from Harbin for immediate repetition. Have repeated to Vladivostok and Tokyo.

July 9, 2 p.m. Inform Department and Admiral Knight last night Chinese governor called and said if Horvat and his party went into Siberia, Chinese would not permit their return in any administrative capacity, his troops could not return with arms and uniforms. Horvat could come back with [as] railway manager only. He said [Page 279]Chinese wished to regain complete sovereignty and take over railways as Horvat’s departure constituted Russia’s abandonment, but it was difficult to accomplish because Chinese lacked money and operatives necessary. He wished my advice. I refused to suggest the possibility of American cooperation and assistance for which he seemed to be fishing, and he left me with the impression that he was unsatisfied and would call again. Chinese attitude in this matter surprising, unless instigated by Japan.

Am informed by reliable authority that Horvat before leaving told him Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich was now en route to Vladivostok by gunboat Askold to head constitutional monarchy by Constituent Assembly. Horvat said this need not conflict with his organization as their aims were similar. It is possible that Horvat is in communication with Grand Duke Michael and means to push through to Vladivostok in time to meet him after setting the stage. This would account for presence of Pflug, Kornilov’s representative, in his proposed cabinet. No other reason apparent. Ustrugov probably there to inspire American railway cooperation. My information is, any attempt to restore monarchy in Siberia would be unpopular, but may be forced upon her through Japanese assistance. Horvat frankly admitted guarantee Japan’s assistance, but appeared unwilling to proceed without support other Allies. Suggest Legation consult British Minister. Moser.