File No. 861.77/451

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


The Minister for Foreign Affairs to-day informally advised me that Mr. Kinoshita, traffic manager of the Imperial Railways, has been dispatched to Vladivostok to investigate conditions on the Siberian railways and to study how transportation facilities can be improved for the benefit of the Czecho-Slovaks. He has been instructed to cooperate with Mr. Stevens and I have advised Stevens.

Baron Megata called this morning. We discussed at length how far economic aid was now practical. He expressed his conviction that Japan should cooperate in any American plan.

[Page 140]

May I suggest for the consideration of the Department that the time has now arrived when our Government’s recent declaration of policy toward Russia1 should be followed by the appointment of a commissioner with adequate powers who could supervise and direct American activities in Siberia and make a beginning toward economic assistance. In addition the needs for Red Cross refugee relief and Young Men’s Christian Association work are all far greater than we anticipated and will require some central control aside from the military, to prevent confusion and to link them up with economic transportation and supply administration. Temporarily and pending further instructions I am giving every assistance possible through the Embassy. Questions of personnel, policy, and method are being submitted daily. In this connection I would appreciate authority to send members of the staff to Harbin or Vladivostok should any further questions seem to require independent investigation. Reports recently received indicate that thus far the American activities have developed smoothly and we feel greatly indebted to Doctor Teusler2 and to Messrs. Frazar,3 Preston,4 Phelps,5 and their colleagues who with the wholehearted exchange of courtesies of Admiral Knight and Mr. Stevens have inaugurated the work with energy and judgment. It is the better organization of American activities which, with the Siberian winter not far distant, requires prompt attention.

  1. Aide-mémoire of July 17, printed in part, ante, p. 134; in full, vol. ii, p. 287.
  2. Dr. Rudolph B. Teusler, director of St. Luke’s Hospital, Tokyo, and commissioner of the American Red Cross to Siberia.
  3. Everett W. Frazar, of Tokyo, representative in Siberia of the American Red Cross.
  4. Charles L. Preston, representative in Siberia of the American Red Cross.
  5. G. S. Phelps, senior representative of the Y. M. C. A. in Siberia.