File No. 763.72114/4190
The British Chargé ( Barclay ) to the Secretary of State
His Britannic Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honour to inform him [Page 440] that the substance of the memorandum from the State Department of the 4th November1 respecting the suggestion that the United States should undertake guarding prisoners of war in Manchuria, was telegraphed to His Majesty’s Government. A reply has now been received stating that His Majesty’s Government do not consider that the scheme mentioned in the memorandum from the State Department is wholly satisfactory since it limits the United States and Japanese control to the prisoners east of Lake Baikal. In the opinion of His Majesty’s Government the freedom thus allowed to enemy prisoners in western Siberia constitutes a grave danger to the small British force in that region. In pointing this out to the United States Government, His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires is directed to urge upon them that the United States and Japan should undertake the duty of guarding all enemy prisoners in Siberia. He is at the same time directed to point out the advisability that instructions should be issued that prisoners under the control of the United States should be allowed to work on the lines of communication, should they be required to do so.
[Received November 23.]