The American Representative on the Inter-Allied Committee (Charles H. Smith) to the Acting Secretary of State27
[Received 11.16 p.m.]
367. Japanese have recently placed small detachments troops at some of the larger stations along Chinese Eastern Railroad in Manchuria. This was given Chinese to guard, and they have protested both to Inter-Allied Committee and Allied commanders. Japanese members of both organizations stated their troops are there only to repair their telegraph line constructed last autumn from Vladivostok to Chita. Have heard that Japanese commander said that one army division would guard the line from Chita to Tsitsikar and another from Tsitsikar to Pogranitchnaya, both divisions Japanese. Most of this lies in Manchuria. At the meeting inter-Allied commanders, the question was asked if any change has been made in locations of railway guards, and Japanese chairman replied negatively. The situation is being carefully watched.
Semenoff28 until past week has been troublesome, claiming that according to Russian law he had control of railway. Japanese military guarding section refused to control him. Committee passed resolution written by Horvath29 that operation of roads is trusted to Stevens and railway officials only and Military must not interfere. Horvath cited Russian law on the subject. Japanese promised to control Semenoff. The situation apparently better and interference stopped.
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