File No. 861.00/3545

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


The formal announcement of the intended withdrawal of 34,000 troops from Siberia and Manchuria as reported in my December 28, 1 a.m., and the concessions made by the Japanese Government in regard to the proposed operation of the Siberian railways as reported in my December 27, 10 p.m.,1 mark the conclusion of a month’s period of discussing and controversy in Government circles here. As I view it, the results are far more satisfactory than I had [Page 466] dared to hope and indicate that Hara has not only succeeded in modifying Japan’s Siberian policy so that it seems to more nearly accord with the expressed views of our Government but has also won an initial victory over the reactionary forces of the General Staff. …

The consolidation of military authority has already been completed. The Ministry still having trouble with the General Staff on the question of Semenov. Your December 11, 6 p.m.,1 and December 16, 6 p.m.,2 have been of the greatest value. Opportunities, largely unsought, have been offered and during the past two weeks I have frankly and informally discussed the entire situation with Hara, Goto, Uchida and Shidehara and also with several men not in office but who are influential in Government circles. I will summarize the impressions gathered from these discussions in a subsequent telegram. Makino might speak unreservedly if given an opportunity during his stay in Washington. Recent advices from Harbin indicate that Stevens is not well and very impatient at the slow progress of the negotiations. The following telegram to me exhibits his state of mind which is not surprising when one considers his experiences during the past year.

I have returned to Harbin much disappointed in not meeting you. My position personally unchanged as to conditions; in no way could I submit even to semblance of Japanese control. Japanese newspaper Harbin publishing most bitter attacks upon American motives in general.

Trust he will not permit his quite justifiable irritation to influence his judgment on the new proposals of Japanese Government.