861a.01/29: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Japan ( Bell )


66. A decision has been reached by the Department to have an observer go to Chita. The Department has asked the War Department to send the military attaché in Japan or one of his assistants for this work, as it is thought best that the observer should be familiar with conditions in Japan and with the Japanese. It is understood that Davis42 is the one chosen. Telegraphic instructions are being sent to Burnett43 by the War Department to confer with you regarding instructions to be given to Davis.

Tell Davis that the sole purpose of his mission is to obtain information as to existing military, economic and political conditions in what is known as the Ear Eastern Republic. Warn him in his informal relations with the local authorities to carefully avoid any statements regarding the possible future policy of the United States regarding Siberia.

You may at your discretion tell the Japanese Foreign Office that the United States is sending an officer to act only as an observer.

[Page 736]

Specifically the Department desires if possible to learn:

The details of the existing system of government, such as qualifications for voting; tendencies toward democracy, if any; nature and relative power of the political parties and of party leaders; rights of private property.
To what extent Japanese influence is felt at Chita.
The same as to Semenov’s influence.
The same as to the influence of the Russian Soviet Government.
Immediate trade possibilities.
Whether it is advisable to encourage American business men to go Chita.
Whether the status quo is likely to continue.
Whether it is advisable to have the United States station at Chita a consular officer.

The War Department will instruct Davis to report to you. Information should be shared with Burnett. The Military Intelligence Division here will be informed by the Department.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Maj. W. J. Davis, assistant military attaché.
  2. Lieut. Col. Charles Burnett, military attaché.