861.77/796: Telegram

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

The following received from Stevens:

“April 15, 8 p.m. Nagao26 at first insistent I should approve change gauge Changchun line, until I told him matter private agreement for Japan and Russia. I would not even discuss it. Appointment Japanese inspector effective April 16. It may be they will turn to coup, change gauge which with their troops might prove successful, as I believe they have material and plant ready. Effect would be Russian uprising and destroy Allied agreement. Americans certainly get all discredit for move. Suggest, if advisable, Japanese Government be given hint. Matter must not be even discussed during time Allied supervision. Nagao leaving for Tokyo 16th.”

I believe Stevens is right, that any effort by Japan at this time to change the gauge might jeopardize the entire plan of Allied supervision. Does the Department approve Stevens’ suggestion, that I discuss this question with the Foreign Office?

  1. Hampei Nagao, official of the Japanese Imperial Government Railways and Japanese representative on the Technical Board.