File No. 861.77/451

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


Your September 3, 12 p.m. Department’s August 30, 4 p.m., contemplated that Stevens as official adviser of the Russian Ministry of Ways of Communication should, with the assistance of the Russian Railway Service Corps composed of American railway engineers, in the service of Russia undertake the effective working of the railways in cooperation with Russian officials and personnel. As the Department sees it, three distinct questions arise, namely: (1) legal; (2) military; (3) actual railway operation.

This Government does not consider that either the Bolshevik movement or the presence of international military assistance in Siberia or in Manchuria modifies the previously existing rights of Russia or China. At the same time, it is evident that, at least for the present, military operations must be facilitated and that the actual movement of trains must be governed accordingly. It is in these premises that the Department urges the actual operation of the Chinese Eastern, as well as other parts of the Siberian Railway and its branches, by Stevens assisted by the Russian Railway Service Corps, as stated above.

Please make these points quite clear to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, before you leave Tokyo, if practicable. You may also inform the Allied chiefs of mission of these instructions and impress upon them the responsibility which this Government feels to secure through Stevens and the Russian Railway Service Corps, in cooperation with the Allies, the effective operation of the railways for Russia and for the service of the present military undertakings, without prejudice to any previous existing legal or political rights by whomsoever held. Inform Stevens of these instructions, also of your visit to Vladivostok.