Mr. Ignatius Yourin to the Secretary of State

Sir: I am very glad to avail myself of the kindness of Mr. Roy Anderson48 to send you this letter. At the present moment such an opportunity is especially to be appreciated, for there is still no normal communication and the existing method of information is neither correct nor devoid of partiality.

It is quite true that the telegraph and press information which reaches us is also neither complete nor trustworthy. But it would be an error to suppose that because of the meager information in our possesion and of the lack of normal economic and other relations we have any feelings of enmity or estrangement towards America. The real state of affairs in the Russian Far East is far [Page 743] from being such, and I avail myself of the present opportunity to communicate to you the true feelings and attitude of our country towards America.

The question of entering into closer relations with America is a matter of great importance for us not only from the point of view of international politics, but also from the fact that it has a very important bearing upon the life of every citizen of the Russian Far East. The new republic which I have the honour to represent in Peking is in exceptional economic circumstances. The fact of her being thinly populated and also that of her immense natural resources are raising the problem of the utilization of these resources for the benefit of the people. It is the aim both of the people and of the Government to industrialize the country in order to attain prosperity and welfare. But the industrialization of the country is impossible without the participation of foreign capital, a fact which has been fully realized both by our people and Government. And for that we look towards America. The capital of our immediate neighbour, China, is still too limited to be of much value to us. … During the same years we began to regard America from a different viewpoint than that from which we looked upon Japan. We knew that the American people were the first to put an end to the useless and unjust intervention which was profitable only to those who did not expect to come to a frank and honest understanding with the people of the Russian Far East. We are not ignorant of the American system of Government, American technical achievements and American methods. Russia who is now short of goods knows the value of American goods. It is this that attracts the attention of the people of the Russian Far East and induces them to look for a closer cooperation with America. Our people are convinced that America has no aggressive designs in the East. The Russians do not oppose America’s interests in the Far East, but on the contrary are ready to encourage in every possible way those who have not lost their heads in this time of general confusion and who are aiming at the economic development of the Far East, and are ready to come to our country for friendly cooperation. These considerations are forcing our Government to look for a closer relationship with the United States of America.

It has always seemed to the people of the Russian Far East that America is interested in the Far East, and that the system of government in the Russian Far East whether Soviet, democratic or Japanese could not be a matter of indifference to America. … I doubt whether it is for the interest of America to show to the Russian Far East that the fate of the latter does not concern her, or [Page 744] to cast the Russians aside, thus forcing them to remain indifferent to America, or even compelling them to throw themselves on the side of the enemy in the face of possible conflicts in the East. It is the moral support of America that will gain the sympathy of the people of the Russian Far East. And in all other respects America must be equally interested in the Far Eastern affairs. All that having been taken into consideration has caused the people of the Russian Far East to urge their Government to enter into closer relations with America.

It is the first time after years of political slavery and economic stagnancy that the wish of the people to labour peacefully and to develop the resources of their country has been strongly expressed. The recent years of intervention and civil war have strengthened the desire of the people to establish such a government as would give them the possibility for peaceful labour and development. The Constituent Assembly of the Far Eastern Republic, elected by universal suffrage, is now aiming at affording the people the opportunity to achieve that end, and as one of its first steps in that direction has made an appeal, of which you no doubt are aware, to the people and Government of the United States.

I avail myself of this opportunity to communicate to your Government that a closer union and cooperation with America is still the wish of the people of the Russian Far East, and that such a union and cooperation is a matter of vital importance to the welfare of the Russian Far East, and also to state that the people and the Government of the Far Eastern Republic are anxiously awaiting America’s reply.

Wishing you success in your work and trusting that the interests of both your country and your people will point you to the road of friendly assistance and cooperation with the Russian people of the Far East,

I remain [etc.]

Ignatius Yourin

President of the Mission of the Far Eastern Republic to China
  1. American citizen, long resident in China.