File No. 661.939/9

The Chargé in Great Britain (Laughlin) to the Secretary of State


10298. My 10082, May 16, 2 p.m.,1 regarding embargo on exports of foodstuffs from China to Siberia. Mr. Balfour has received telegram from British Minister Peking who appreciates your view expressed in your 7529, May 1, 8 p.m., that the rigid enforcement of embargo has been causing some ill feeling against the Allies. Mr. Balfour has informed Sir J. Jordan that the British Government concur in the proposal to raise the embargo as far as applies to districts east of Semenov’s2 present position, as food sent to the country already covered by Semenov’s advance does not appear to be in danger of being diverted further west or reaching undesirable destination. From reports which have reached Mr. Balfour there is little prospect owing to disturbed conditions and transport difficulties of supplies being sent to Irkutsk or to districts west of Onon [Omsk?]. Sir J. Jordan has been informed he may agree at his discretion to dispensations from the embargo being granted if and when arrangements for transport to places west of Semenov’s position are practicable provided always that the danger of foodstuffs falling into the hands of enemy agents can be prevented.

The French Minister at Peking is inclined to insist upon rigid application of the embargo but Mr. Balfour is communicating the foregoing views to the French Government and urging that similar instructions be sent to their Minister.

  1. See telegram No. 10082 from Ambassador Page, ante, p. 177.
  2. Ataman of the Far Eastern Cossacks.