File No. 861.00/2341

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


The Minister for Foreign Affairs called at the Embassy last night. I took this occasion to advise him informally of your views in reference to a military occupation of Manchuria, as instructed in your telegram July 19, 3 a.m. He again expressed his clear conviction that a patrol of troops along the line of the Chinese Eastern Railway and Trans-Siberian Railway as far as Karymskaya was a military necessity. He confirmed my advices that the Twelfth Division is prepared to embark for Vladivostok and the Eighth Division is prepared to embark for Harbin to protect the railway. The present plan is to send the Vladivostok expedition first and to follow with the Harbin expedition between two and four weeks later. He admitted that the Japanese Government had given aid to Horvat, but authorized me to assure you that Japan had made no promise of further support and Japan would pledge herself not to support any group or interfere in the internal politics of Siberia. He added that Ishii had informed him of the contents of our Government’s statement handed to the Allied Ambassadors in Washington and he expressed entire sympathy with our attitude toward Russia and our proposed efforts to render economic assistance. He hoped that our Government could see its way clear to cooperate for the assistance of the Czecho-Slovaks in the slightly modified manner suggested in his Government’s reply to the American proposals.

In response to my inquiry whether he felt at liberty to give his views as to the future of the present Ministry, concerning which [Page 301] many wild rumors in circulation, he stated that the Premier had definitely decided to continue in office if the American reply to the Japanese suggestions was favorable, otherwise he would resign on the ground that his efforts to bring the policy of Japan into full accord with that of the United States had failed. He referred to the recent request of the Chinese Government to participate in any action in Siberia and expressed his opinion that the request should as a matter of policy receive favorable consideration.