File No. 861.00/2501

The Secretary of State to the British Chargé (Barclay)

Sir: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum which you were good enough to hand to the Acting Secretary of State on August 12, in which you express the concern of your Government over the critical position in which the Czech forces in Siberia now find themselves. You inform me that your Government earnestly hope that this Government 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. You add [Page 345] that in view of the deep resentment which will be felt in Great Britain at any disaster to the Czech forces, your 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.

In reply I am bound in candor to say that this Government would be gravely embarrassed if the British Government should take the action suggested. The plan of action recently proposed by the Government of the United States, accepted by Japan and acquiesced in in principle by the Government of Great Britain is now in course of execution. Only a small part of the troops have reached Vladivostok. When all are assembled there they will number, approximately, 25,000. It should, in the judgment of the Government of the United States, be left to a later time and other circumstances, not yet developed, to consider radical alterations of the whole scale and character of action in Siberia. The President advises me that on several occasions he has stated to Lord Reading the unalterable facts which must of necessity limit military action and the supplying of armies in Siberia, and the President hopes that Lord Reading will be kind enough to set those facts before his Government in London more fully than is possible in a cable message.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing