123 C 12/129a: Telegram

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


149. You are to instruct Consul John K. Caldwell to go to Chita, Siberia, with as little delay as possible, on special duty. He is to [Page 746] stay there until given further orders, which will probably be about January 1. He will then either return directly to the Embassy or to his present station, Kobe. While at Chita he will not engage in routine consular functions, limiting his activities to informal association with local authorities and others and to friendly observation. At his discretion in case of necessity he may exert his influence to protect American private interests.

It is assumed that considering the friendly purpose of his visit, no objection will be made by the so-called Far Eastern Republic, and that, without bringing up the issue of recognition, it will willingly maintain informal contact with him.

Instruct our consul at Dairen, Kirjasoff, that he should informally and discreetly immediately advise Kojevnikoff or another agent of the Far Eastern Republic at the Dairen conference that we are sending Caldwell to Chita for the purposes mentioned. Care will be exercised by Kirjasoff not to give the impression that the United States contemplates granting recognition to the Far Eastern Republic. Kirjasoff on his own responsibility may interpret the sending of a consular officer of rank to Chita as indicating friendly interest. Kirjasoff will say to the Chita delegates, giving it as his personal opinion, that if arrangements were made which might place the administrative or territorial integrity of Eastern Siberia in danger or change the status of Russian rights and interests it would be unfortunate, especially in view of the coming Washington Conference.

At your discretion you may inform the Japanese authorities that Caldwell is being sent as an observer temporarily to Chita. Consul Kirjasoff should give the same information in answer to any questions on the matter which the Japanese delegates at Dairen may ask him.

Instruct Vice Consul Thomas upon return Consul at Harbin to accompany Caldwell to Chita and remain there under his orders until further instructions. Instruct Vladivostok to send Monroe to Harbin to replace Thomas.51

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  1. This paragraph not paraphrased.