File No. 861.00/2841

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Irkutsk ( Harris )1


For your confidential information, answering your 1342 and subsequent telegrams. Small detachment of British and French troops reported proceeding westward to join Czechs on the Volga. This Government, however, with great reluctance but as a matter of military necessity determined by the extraordinary efforts being made by the United States on the western front, has definitely decided it can not send American troops to Omsk or any other point in the far interior of Siberia. It has also expressed its opinion to the Allies that the Czechs should withdraw from the Volga front. At the same time the United States is making all speed to supply the Czechs in Siberia with munitions and clothing. The American troops now at Vladivostok will establish themselves at Harbin.

The Allied representatives at Washington and also the Russian Ambassador and Professor Masaryk, who represents the Czechoslovaks here, have been fully advised of the position which this Government has felt constrained to take. It was expressly made clear that this Government did not wish to intimate, even by implication, its desire to embarrass the choices of policy on the part of other governments or to set limits to their actions.

Instructions have been issued that the American forces now at Archangel, numbering approximately 5,000, are to be used only in safeguarding supplies at that point and protecting the country around them which may develop threatening conditions. For your information Ambassador Morris from Tokyo is now at Vladivostok [Page 411] and is reporting to the Department as to what measures can be taken for economic and social assistance to follow the military assistance which has now been established at Vladivostok and Archangel. It should be possible to advise you shortly of the plans adopted.

  1. Sent via the Legation in China.
  2. Ante, p. 398.