File No. 861.00/3138

The Consul General at Irkutsk (Harris) to the Secretary of State1


157. Situation Chita: Semenov attempting to obviate [obstruct] shipment of supplies, especially automobile and truck, from Vladivostok [Page 420] and Harbin to Czechs in west. Two trainloads automobiles now held by order Semenov at Chita. Armed conflict possible. Have sent Vice Consul Thomas there to watch situation. Will attempt learn real cause, as Semenov unlikely to take such action unless supported by some power. Czechs suspect Japanese.

In passing through Manchuria last week, I gained the impression that there are at least 40,000 Japanese along railway and scattered through country district. There are 6,000 in Chita alone. I have suggested in telegram to General Graves that he will send one American army officer and one intelligence officer to watch situation at Manchuria Station, where they are [omission] American railway office at present. …

  1. Sent via the Legation in China.