File No. 861.00/2643a

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


Please proceed at once to Vladivostok taking with you only such personnel as will insure efficiency and at the same time preserve a definitely informal character to your visit. The information you obtain and the judgments you reach are for the special information of the Department and your stay at Vladivostok will be unofficial and temporary.

Upon arrival confer, in your discretion, with leading Russians and with Allied military and civilian representatives. Report in detail to the Department your views as to how the purpose of the United States to aid the Russian people, as expressed repeatedly in public statements by this Government, may best be furthered under the conditions which you will find to exist there. Your inquiries and reports should cover the economic, social, financial, political, and military situations.

Please inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Tokyo frankly of these instructions and say that your reports, where they concern our two countries, will be discussed fully with Viscount Ishii here. Please make clear orally also to the Allied diplomatic representatives at Tokyo the informal, special, and temporary character of your visit.

Spare no effort to present a complete review of the situation as you see it. Time is a vital element in view of the approach of severe weather. The Department regards intelligent assistance in Siberia, supplementary to the military support already afforded the Czechoslovaks, as a matter of the first importance.

The United States Government has been invited by the French Government to take the chairmanship of an inter-Allied civilian board at Vladivostok charged, among other things, with deciding political disputes and defining the attitude between the Allied Governments and local authorities. This has been answered by a refusal, with the statement that political activity there is undesirable to this Government. The American Consul at Vladivostok, in answer to an inquiry as to whether he should act temporarily with the Allied commissioners now there, has been told that we contemplate the dispatch of no high commissioner to Siberia.