Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1921, Volume II
Mr. Alexander M. Krasnoshchekov to the Secretary of State 44
[Received April 12, 1921—11:09 a.m.]
I have the honour to transmit herewith for the information of your Government a copy of the declaration of the Constituent Assembly of the Far Eastern Republic addressed to all the nations and governments of the world and a copy of the memorandum addressed to the Government of the United States of America.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Far Eastern Republic
Declaration of the Constituent Assembly of the Far Eastern Republic
To all governments and nations of the world:
The two and half years’ heroic struggle by the revolutionary people of the Russian Far East against the hated regime of the usurping atamans and their adherents has ended in a complete victory of the people. Owing to the international situation and with a view to [Page 737] preventing the Far East from becoming a permanent base of warfare against Soviet Russia, the people of the Russian Far East have given up their sacred wish of an immediate reunion with their mother country Russia and have entered upon the course of establishing within the territory of the Russian Far East an independent sovereign republic. The independence of this Republic was recognized by the Socialist Federated Republic of Russia in its act of May 14th, 1920. To form a government and to enact fundamental laws of the Republic the Constituent Assembly was elected by the free will of the people of the Far Eastern Republic expressed by universal, equal, direct and secret ballot and by proportional representation with no distinction of nationality, sex or religion. Considering the creation of such a government as will secure the full rights of the people by promoting stability and complete freedom of creative initiative of all citizens in the territory of the Far Eastern Republic to be its momentous task the Constituent Assembly hereby solemnly declares to the entire world: that:
- The whole of the territory of the former Empire of Russia east of the River Selenga and Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean including the regions of Baikalia, Zabaikalia, Amur, Priamur and Maritime Province and the northern part of Sagalien Island is hereby declared under the jurisdiction of the independent sovereign democratic state of Far Eastern Republic.
- By virtue of an agreement the demarcation line between the Soviet Republic of Russia and the Far Eastern Republic is drawn as follows: From the River Selenga from its exit from Mongolia to the administrative boundary of the former Selenginsk, Bar-guzinsk and Verkhneudinsk Counties, following the boundary of these countries [counties] to Lake Baikal then eastward through the middle of Lake Baikal along the old boundary between the Yakutsk, Zabaikal, and Amur districts to the watershed between the rivers Kiran and Pesma along the watershed of these rivers to the shores of the Okhotsk Sea and the Cape of Mejeland including all the islands south of the Cape of Mejeland.
- The sole masters exercising the sovereign rights within this territory are the people who inhabit it and consequently the presence of an armed force of a foreign power in their territory or interference by a foreign power with the internal affairs of the country is not only regarded as an encroachment on the rights of the Russian people in the Far East but as an act of gross violence and usurpation and as a violation of fundamental international rights.
- All the treaty rights of the former Empire of Russia in the leased territory of the Chinese [Eastern Railway] revert to the Government of the Far Eastern Republic and are therefore subject to [Page 738] revision conjointly by the Governments of the Far Eastern Republic, the Socialist Federated Soviet Republic of Russia, and the Republic of China.
- Hereafter the supreme power in the territory of the Far Eastern Republic must belong to the people and no one else.
- The form of government the foundation of which the Constituent Assembly has been called to lay will rest on the principles of real democracy and self-government ensuring the sovereignty of the entire population and the irrevocable rights of the toiling majority whose will has been expressed directly through their representatives elected according to the principle of universal, direct, equal and secret ballot and with due consideration to the principle of proportional representation guaranteeing the rights of the minority.
- Considering the individual self-assertion of the community and the free expression of initiative, whether by individuals or groups, as a necessary condition of the development of the country the Constituent Assembly, by abolishing all class distinction and privileges, guarantees all political freedom to the population such as personal immunity, freedom of the press and speech; of meeting; union, strike; conscience and movement.
- Corporal and capital punishment, the remnant of the old regime, are hereafter abolished.
- Having set upon the peaceful reconstruction of economic and political life of the country the Constituent Assembly declares that the civil strife has ended and that all political offenses are forgiven by decree of amnesty which the Constituent Assembly is going to issue without delay.
- The institution of private ownership remains untouched the Government guaranteeing full immunity to all citizens of the Republic as well as to the citizens of foreign countries who may come to live there. The limitation of the rights of private property may be extended only in the interest of the general public and only in cases provided by law.
- Land being the vital force of the entire population the natural resources of land and water are hereby declared the property of the people and therefore cannot become private property. Pursuing the economic policy of the open-door and equal opportunities for foreign industry and trade and endeavouring to resume economic relations with other nations on a basis of mutual exchange the Government of the Far Eastern Republic will take every possible measure to make the terms appealing to foreign capital and foreign initiative for the development of the natural resources of the country without violating the sovereign rights of the people of the Russian Far East and the laws for the preservation of the rights of the workmen.
- All small national minorities in the territory of the Far Eastern Republic are hereby granted the right of autonomy which is considered as a necessary measure for independent development of their national capacity. On the basis of firm insistence upon their sovereign rights and by their incessant efforts to establish themselves on peaceful principles the people of the Far Eastern Republic will build their relations with neighbouring nations upon the foundations of mutual understanding and respect, confidence and peaceful cooperation. The Constituent Assembly continues its task with the belief in the creative power of the revolutionary people of the Far East and in their readiness to defend their rights and their peaceful labour.
For the Constituent Assembly of the Far Eastern Republic. President Shiloff; Secretary Uchovii [Sukhovy?], Chita, March 22nd, 1921.
To the Government of the United States of America.
In the official declaration of the American Government which was received at Vladivostok on August 5th, 1918, it was stated that the United States and Japan were the only countries at the time which were in a position to act in Siberia with sufficient forces even to achieve such a modest task as the one the Government of the United States has put before itself.45 The Government of the United States proposed therefore to the Government of Japan that both countries should send a military force of several thousand men to Vladivostok to cooperate in the occupation of the city with the view of guarding the rear for the Czeeho-Slovak troops who were advancing eastward. The Japanese Government agreed to that proposal. The Government of the United States declared to the Russian people in a most frank and solemn manner that it did not aim at infringement upon the political sovereignty of Russia, that it did not want to interfere with her domestic affairs even within those limited areas which the American troops might be forced to occupy, and that it had no intention to encroach upon the integrity of Russian territory at that time or in the future; that the American Government aimed exclusively at helping the Russian people in the manner most acceptable to them in their efforts to regain control of their own affairs, their territory and their destiny. It was understood that the Japanese Government would issue a similar [statement]. The declaration of the American Government established the following facts: That the American troops landed at Vladivostok to assist the Czecho-Slovaks; that the American Government proposed to the Japanese Government to send [Page 740] its troops into Russian territory and that the former is therefore responsible for the further stay of the Japanese troops in the territory of the Far Eastern Republic; that the American Government has solemnly guaranteed its noninterference with Russian affairs and the inviolability of Russian territory. Under these conditions America invited Japan to cooperate in the matter of assisting the Czecho-Slovaks. At about the same time (in August) the Japanese Government in its official declaration repeated the above statement.46 Not going into details of the said history of the intervention it is enough to say that at the end of 1919 and at the beginning of 1920 the Allies have one after another withdrawn their troops from Siberia. The last transport of American troops left Vladivostok in March, 1920, and soon after that the remainder of the Czecho-Slovak forces left our country. The Japanese troops have not been withdrawn; Japan has brought out pretext after pretext to justify their stay-Japanese interests in eastern Siberia; the possible menace to Korea and Manchuria and the unsafe conditions menacing the life and property of her citizens. Instead of the evacuation of the Japanese troops we witnessed the events of April 4th and 5th, 1920, with all the later results, and in July last Japan occupied the Saghalien district. The Japanese troops were withdrawn from Trans-Baikalia and the district around [Khabarovsk] while the Maritime Province is still occupied by them. The Maritime Province is now the only place where the criminal counter revolutionary bands of Semenoff are murdering and terrorizing the population. There as in Saghalien the people do not feel themselves any longer the masters of their own land. The Japanese activity in the Maritime Province, especially their interference with railway affairs, forced the members of the inter-Allied Technical Board to adopt a resolution asking their respective Governments whether it would be expedient to continue their work in view of the interference of the Japanese Command. The American Government made no statement to the Russian people of the Far East at the time of the departure of the American troops. It is therefore not quite clear to the people of the Russian Far East whether the American Government had achieved the purpose for which it sent troops to Siberia. Does the American Government consider that the Allied intervention has come to an end. In the declaration of March 14th, 1919, with regard to the establishment of the Inter-Allied Technical Board it was stated that this arrangement for the board would become invalid as soon as the Allied troops should be recalled from Siberia. The fact of the Inter-Allied Technical Board remaining in Siberia would indicate that the intervention continues with American participation. The [Page 741] representatives of the Russian people in the Far East are compelled by the present circumstances to request of the American Government an explanation of the following:
- Does the United States Government adhere to its declaration of August 5th, 1918?
- If it does then how does the United States explain the continuance of the intervention after the evacuation of the Czechoslovak troops?
- If it does not adhere to that declaration then when will the United States Government declare with the same solemnity that the intervention has ended?
- When will the United States Government which invited the Japanese Government to a military cooperation in the Russian Far East require a definite end to the intervention which began in 1918 by that invitation? In spite of the numerous obstacles which have been put and are put before the people of the Russian Far East in their efforts to unite they have found strength enough to achieve their aim. By the will of the entire people of the Russian Far East, without distinction of classes and nationalities, the Constituent Assembly has now been convoked on the principle of universal suffrage. The Constituent Assembly has confirmed the independence of the Russian Far East and the formation of a democratic Far Eastern Republic. The Russian Socialist Soviet Federative Republic has recognized the independence of the democratic Far Eastern Republic and now the Constituent Assembly which represents the people and expresses their will expects the United States of America to accord recognition to the Far Eastern Republic.
For the Constituent Assembly of the Far Eastern Republic: (Signed) Shiloff, President; (signed) Suchovy, Secretary.
Authenticated by Kozhevnikoff, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Far Eastern Republic.