File No. 861.77/268

The Consul at Vladivostok (Caldwell) to the Secretary of State


Your telegram December 28, 5 p.m., was not received. I did not telegraph reasons for railway corps’ going Japan because Stevens informed me he was doing it. Corps went to Japan because it is impossible accomplish anything on railway. There are no accommodations on shore here for corps and ice made detention transport precarious. Useless for corps to come until some authority can be maintained either by Russia or Allies. At present soldiers dictate train movements holding expresses behind troop trains for days, detaching engines from expresses, and crowding on guard trains without paying. Moreover, although railway employees mostly well inclined, continued working of railway is uncertain because funds are not forthcoming from Petrograd. Ustrugov, Vice Minister of Communications, who was working with Stevens, is going Petrograd in effort secure funds.

Unless money received from Petrograd, Navy Yard and other government employees here can not be paid after December which may cause rioting.

So far as known all Americans Siberia safe. Quiet prevails here. Bolsheviks sealed banks for few hours this morning. Seriousness of step was made clear to them by bankers.