861b.6363/8: Telegram

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


384. Caldwell telegraphs as follows under date of November 10, 1 p.m.

“I called today on the Minister for Foreign Affairs,57 at his request, with reference to the agreement which the Far Eastern Republic is about to conclude with the Sinclair Oil Corporation for a concession in the Russian portion of Sakhalin Island. Our Commerce Department and other departments have received information already regarding this. I was asked by the Minister for Foreign Affairs what was my opinion as, to the attitude of the American Government regarding such a concession. He wished especially to be informed as to whether to expect it to receive active support. In reply I said that I was not able to give an opinion regarding the support which might be expected for this special case. I added that I would report to the Department on this matter and that generally the American, Government is ready to support any American interests abroad if they are legitimate.

My attention was called by the Minister to a Tokyo telegram appearing today in a local paper which reported a rumor to the effect that President Harding and the Japanese Ambassador in the United States had agreed that in the Far East Japan should have special privileges for her development. The Minister referred also to several recent press reports which predict Washington Conference action [Page 750] regarding Siberia. The Chita government believes that a free hand will be given to Japan in Siberia, which will be a serious disadvantage to the Chita government. The result is a feeling in the Government of much uneasiness if not actual distrust with regard to the intentions of the American Government as to Siberia. Such action as the Chita government fears on the part of the American Government, I have pointed out, would be in contradiction to the American Government’s declarations regarding its Russian attitude. It would have a good effect, however, if some further reply could be authorized which would express evem more definitely the attitude of our Government on this particular occasion or else in this connection repeat a general statement which has been given already.[”]

  1. Of the Far Eastern Republic, China.