File No. 861.00/2644

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


Your September 4, 3 p.m. I am preparing to leave for Vladivostok on the first available boat sailing from Tsuruga next Saturday and will take with me Hawley for stenographic and clerical work and MacDonald for coding.

I have advised Admiral Knight confidentially and requested him to advise General Graves1 and Caldwell. I frankly explained the object of my visit to the Minister for Foreign Affairs who offered my [any] assistance in his power. I [informed] such of my colleagues as are in Tokyo of the informal and temporary character of my journey and caused to be inserted in an article on American activities in Russia which appeared in the Japan Advertiser this morning the following:

The American Ambassador, as chairman of the Japan chapter of the American Red Cross, acted as chairman of the meeting Friday. There was a generally expressed wish that he might find an early opportunity to visit Vladivostok and study conditions on the ground. It is reported that he is seriously considering this suggestion and may in the near future go to Siberia in a purely unofficial and informal manner to confer with Russian and Allied representatives over plans for enlarged cooperation in rendering aid and assistance to the Russian people.

I hoped that in thus associating my proposed visit with our Red Cross refugee work I would in large part deprive it of the political significance which otherwise might attach to it.

In my conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs he expressed his regret that Viscount Ishii’s conversation with [you] last Tuesday had, as reported by him, been so unsatisfactory and he feared that a misunderstanding still existed because of the dispatch of additional troops to Siberia. He [asked if I had] recent advices which might throw light on the Government’s attitude. I assured him that I had none.

The diplomatic advisory council met last Wednesday and adjourned for a week. I surmise that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is greatly embarrassed by his inability to report definitely on the American attitude toward recent developments in Siberia. Political gossip has set September 15 as the date of Terauchi’s resignation. It is still uncertain whether the elder statesmen will consent to a Hara ministry and attention is again turned toward Saionji as the only solution.

  1. Gen. William S. Graves, commanding the American forces in Siberia.