861.77/616: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Acting Secretary of State

371. The Foreign Office has informally and orally been acquainted with the pertinent portions of the following telegrams from you: 3990, January 10, 6 p.m.,35 3991, January 10 [9], 7 p.m.,35 3989 (received via Paris)35 and 4037 of January 13, 4 p.m. with the understanding that immediately upon notification from you that the Japanese Ambassador at Washington has presented the matter officially to the Department, formal notification will be given to the British Government as to the plan, now agreed upon by the Governments of Japan and the United States. Even before the discussion of the last-mentioned telegram, gratification was expressed by the Foreign Office that the instructions of the British Government to their Ambassador at Tokyo had reached him in so unintelligible a form as to prevent his action thereon, and the most cordial interest is now displayed in, and support promised to, the final plan which appears to meet with the enthusiastic approval of this Government. The frank personal discussions that have taken place have been fortunate in not only clearing away the apparent misunderstanding, which as I have previously reported, was due solely to the disinclination of this Government to press that of Japan to the acceptance of a plan distasteful to her, but has also resulted in the discussion of important relevant matters. I learn that this Government believes that Japan’s attitude was not wholly unreasonably assumed in view of the fact that the Governments associated with her had as yet determined upon no definite Russian policy, and the hope was earnestly expressed that early discussions in Paris might result in the establishment thereof. Notwithstanding the fact that Semenoff was [Page 241]at one time supported by Japan with at least the tacit acquiescence of other powers, it is now agreed that his activities are a serious block to the operation of the railroad which should be removed if possible by endeavoring now to secure his cooperation with the Associated Governments or with Koltchak. In reply to a query as to the opportuneness of now enlarging the scheme of economic and financial assistance to Russia principally through Vladivostock via the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the British Government explain that British advocate the submission of the question to the Inter-Allied Committee in Siberia now contemplated with the request that its recommendations be immediately formulated. The hope was expressed that we might take similar action. Paris informed.

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