File No. 861.00/2622a

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


Department has received the following letter from the Secretary of the Treasury:

A representative of the War Department called upon me yesterday and discussed with me the rumored shortage of ruble notes of small denominations in connection with the necessary expenditures of the War Department in sending troops to Vladivostok. The subject has also been discussed with representatives of the Russian Embassy. I have been unable to ascertain as yet the actual conditions as to the ruble notes in Vladivostok, nor an estimate of the needs of the War Department there. I have considered the various methods of providing rubles in small denominations in case such a shortage exists. In my judgment the most satisfactory method would be to have issued against ruble notes of large denominations, a certificate expressed in rubles of small denominations and stating that when such certificate, with other similar certificates aggregating rubles in a round amount, is presented at a designated place or places, they will be exchanged for the ruble notes of large denominations.

Various suggestions have been made as to the instrumentality to be used for the issuance of these certificates, and it seems to me that this question involves political considerations which should be determined by the Department of State. It also occurs to me that it might be advisable to effect an agreement with other foreign governments in regard to the issue of such certificates.

You are requested promptly to report to Department by cable on the following points: (1) What plans have been made by the British, French, and Japanese to supply rubles for their purchases in Siberia? (2) What instrumentality do you believe should be set up for the establishment of a medium of exchange in Siberia?