The Ambassador in Japan (Morris) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received January 10, 7.10 p.m.]
As reported in my January 9, 7 p.m.3 immediately upon receipt of a copy of Stevens’4 telegram to the Department accepting plan for operation of the railways, I called upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs and informed him that the plan would be approved by our Government. I acted quickly because two days ago my British colleague received instructions to submit [different?] plan and urge its acceptance. Fortunately the instructions were so garbled that he was compelled to ask for a repetition, and thus I was enabled to counsel with the Minister for Foreign Affairs before my British colleague was in a position to carry out his instructions. I have just notified him that the matter is concluded and he tells me that [Page 591]he will not act upon the repeated telegram when received, and he assumes that you will now cordially endorse the agreement which we have reached with Japan.
I submitted to Viscount Uchida5 and obtained his approval
of following memorandum of points which we had previously discussed
and agreed on:
Viscount Uchida suggested that our two Governments might agree to instruct their Ambassadors to join in advising the Associated Governments of the understanding reached. He further expressed the hope that I would go to Vladivostok to assist in the preliminary arrangement. Stevens also telegraphed as follows: “Presume matter should be closed up at Vladivostok and you should be there by all means.”
I would appreciate the Department’s judgement as to the wisdom of my leaving for Vladivostok in the near future. In the event of my going I would request authorization to take with me Thomas Smith, one of the coding clerks who speaks Russian, and Ballantine, who speaks Japanese.
- Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. iii, p. 306. The plan of operation is described in preceding telegrams from the Ambassador printed in the same volume.↩
- John F. Stevens, Chairman of the Advisory Commission of Railway Experts to Russia.↩
- Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.↩
- Japanese Ambassador at Washington.↩