The Secretary of State to the President of the Technical Board (Stevens)

My Dear Mr. Stevens: I desire to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of March 15, 1923, reviewing and reporting finally upon the work of the Interallied Technical Board, and to acknowledge also the receipt of your personal letter of March 16 on the same subject.80

Your report, and the accounts which you are submitting in connection therewith, will receive the Department’s detailed consideration. I wish to take this occasion to assure you of the high regard in which your work as President of the Interallied Technical Board, and as the American representative thereon, is held by the President as well as by myself and the other members of the Government.

[Page 776]

It is recalled that soon after the United States entered the war you proceeded to Russia, at the request of President Wilson, and with the knowledge and approval of the Provisional Government of Russia, as the head of a commission of American railway experts, and that, after this commission had completed a study of the Russian railways and made helpful recommendations to the Russian railway authorities, you were invited to remain with the Russian Ministry of Ways of Communication in the capacity of a special adviser and with a view to carrying into actual operation the measures which the commission had agreed upon with the Russian officials. It is recalled also that the Russian Railway Service Corps, consisting of American railway men who undertook as a war service to assist in the operation and improvement of the Russian railways, was organized at your inspiration and that the admirable work subsequently accomplished by this Corps was developed under your direction.

As the logical result of these activities you were invited in 1919 by this Government, as well as the Government of Japan and the other Governments concerned, to become President of the Interallied Technical Board, which was charged with the general supervision and management of the railways in the portions of Siberia in which Allied forces were then operating. During the three and a half years of the existence of this Board much was accomplished, in the face of the most extraordinary difficulties, to preserve railway lines which are vital to the economic life of Siberia and to keep them in operation despite public disorder and general disorganization. I am glad to hear of your appreciation of the support which you received in this work from your colleagues on the Technical Board, representing seven other nations, and the cordial relations which existed among you throughout the time of your arduous service. I shall take pleasure in communicating on this subject with the Governments concerned. Your own leading part in this work constitutes a public service of the highest order. I feel that you have contributed much to the well-being of the people of Eastern Siberia and Manchuria and to the early recuperation of their economic life, and that you have advanced the prestige and honor of the United States in that part of the world and with all who have known of your work.

Your own expressions of appreciation of the excellent work done by your technical and clerical subordinates have been noted, and I hope that you will make known to them the value which this Government attaches to the work which they have done and its high appreciation of the spirit of their services.

I remain [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Not printed.↩