861.00/5995: Telegram

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

Telegrams from Irkutsk dated December 24th and 25th sent to the Japanese General Staff state that the 53rd regiment of the Siberian army which was guarding the railway station at Irkutsk has mutinied and taken control of the station and the railway yards abroad [sic] Harris and other Allied representatives are living in trains. In addition local Bolshevik bands are reported to be marching on Irkutsk from both north and south and are now within 30 kilometres of the city. The Japanese General Staff is also advised that Koichak has reached Irkutsk but that he is without any reliable troops and that a condition of serious unrest prevails throughout the entire district. General Oi has sent from the Baikal region approximately a thousand men, infantry, artillery and cavalry, to insure the protection of the Baikal tunnels. The Japanese General Staff is still eager to send at least two battalions of infantry to Irkutsk to keep order there and if necessary to protect the evacuation of the foreign representatives and agencies, but hesitates to act without our concurrence and support. Under date of December 21, Harris telegraphed that American Red Cross trains had passed Taiga and were expected in Irkutsk in the near future but he makes no mention of any disturbance at Irkutsk. I have had no word from the Foreign Office in regard to these recent developments but the military attaché tells me that General Tanaka27 and the officers of the General Staff appear greatly concerned and have urged him to impress upon me the necessity of sending to Irkutsk both American and Japanese troops at the earliest moment possible. I understand that Ambassador Shidehara is making further representations to you.

  1. Giichi Tanaka, Japanase Minister of War.