The Chargé in Japan (Bell) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 22—5:02 p.m.]
259. Your 192, May 17, 6 p.m. I have been informed by the British Ambassador that he has always understood that paragraphs 1 and 1a provided that representation on the Committee and Boards should be given to the powers which had armed forces in Siberia at the time of the making of the agreement, that such representation should continue as long as these bodies were in existence, and that withdrawal of the troops by a power implied no obligation to withdraw the railway representatives. The Ambassador was British High Commissioner to Siberia and was well acquainted with the arrangements made when the agreement regarding the railways was put into operation. He gathers that his Government shares these views since the representation of Great Britain both on the Inter-Allied Technical Board and the Committee is indefinitely continuing.
Regarding the several plans proposed, there may be objection by Japan to continuing the railway under the arrangement now in force, with financing by the consortium. The giving of a mandate to China would be almost certain to meet vigorous opposition from Japan. The same would be true as to the proposal in your final paragraph regarding the Technical Board.
If we assume that it is the desire of our Government to see the plan of the Russian Embassy carried out, the best method would, perhaps, be the continuation of the Technical Board and Inter-Allied Committee as they now exist and arrangement for either the consortium or the powers jointly to finance the railway.