File No. 861.00/2501

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 894


In view of recent reports, the British Government feel the greatest concern over the critical position in which the Czech forces in Siberia now find themselves, and it is felt that all the Allies are under an obligation of honour to provide for the safety of these troops.

If it were in their power the British Government would be glad to give further help, but they have unfortunately no means of doing more than has already been done in this direction.

The only possibility of saving the situation by immediate action seems to lie with the Japanese.

In these circumstances the British Government earnestly hope that the United States authorities will feel it possible formally to request the Japanese Government to dispatch at the earliest possible moment such military assistance as the military experts of the Czech and Japanese forces may consider desirable and necessary. Such a procedure would be in accordance with the public declaration of the United States Government, as the present state of affairs is clearly one of emergency, demanding the application of extraordinary measures.

The Japanese authorities have pointed out to the British Government that no formal request has been received from them by Japan with a view to sending the increased help now evidently necessary for the Czechs. In view of what the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs has said on this point, and considering the deep resentment [Page 342] which would be felt in Great Britain at any disaster to the Czech forces, the British Government feel that it will be incumbent on them to make a request of this nature, unless the United States Government have grave objections to such a course.

A recent report on the position of the Czech forces is attached to this memorandum.1

  1. Not printed.