861.51/495 g: Telegram

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

For Heid,3 also for Morris and repeat to Consul-General Harris:

The consignment of Russian rouble notes diverted to Manila is being returned to Vladivostok by the next transport and will be delivered by General Graves to Heid. The notes are being returned on the understanding that a portion of them amounting to 500,000,000 roubles will be delivered to the Omsk authorities after first being properly surcharged under the supervision of American authorities with a legend which will show unmistakably that they are obligations of the Omsk Government and not of the Russian State Bank. Please arrange, therefore, to forward to Consul General Harris at Omsk a portion of these rouble notes, amounting to 500,000,000 roubles.

The contract between the Provisional Government of Russia, which ordered these rouble notes printed in 1917, and the American Banknote Company, apparently provides that a representative of the company shall be present when the shipment is delivered. Consequently it may be necessary for the company’s representative to accompany the shipment of 500,000,000 roubles to Omsk; balance of shipment should be held in your custody in escrow.

Please advise Department what arrangements you make for carrying out these instructions.

War Department not yet advised when transport will sail from Manila to Vladivostok.

  1. August Heid, representative at Vladivostok of the War Trade Board.