File No. 861.77/486
The Ambassador in Japan (Morris), temporarily at Vladivostok, to the Secretary of State
[Received September 19, 10.10 a.m.]
Arrived Vladivostok yesterday morning. Just before leaving Tokyo I delivered to Baron Goto1 your September 3, 12 midnight.2 His comments did not differ in any essential point from those previously reported. He spoke with less conviction, however, and I think that the Japanese Government is prepared to agree in principle to the proposal that Stevens assume the management and operation of the railways. I found Stevens here and advised him of the situation and discussed with him at length the best method of placing him in control. There would seem to be no practical difficulty in authorizing General Otani, as senior officer of the Allied forces, to assume the military protection of the railways and to designate Stevens, the representative of the Russian people, director general with full powers to operate the entire system. Such a method would save the face of the Japanese General Staff and would at the same time confer the necessary power on Stevens as well as obligate the Japanese Army to furnish adequate protection. May I suggest that you urge upon Viscount Ishii the vital importance of immediate action.
General Graves3 advises me that there is no formal Allied military council but merely an informal committee of military representatives who have met to arrange details of transportation of troops and material; that he has sent his quartermaster to meetings of this committee, and that no questions of general policy have been decided.[Page 259]
The British High Commissioner has left for Omsk and the French High Commissioner has not yet arrived. In spite of Baron Goto’s expressed fear, I can not conceive that British or French representatives will seriously object to Stevens’s appointment.