The Chief of the Division of Russian Affairs, Department of State (Poole) to the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

Mr. Phillips: Mr. Crandall, of the Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation, called at the Russian Division this morning. He referred to the reported failure of the Russian-Japanese negotiations at Changchun and suggested that the purpose of the Japanese in bringing matters to this pass by refusing to evacuate Sakhalin was to try out public opinion and particularly to ascertain whether the United States would silently and impliedly acquiesce in their position. He suggested, therefore, that an intimation be made to the Japanese Government that this Government felt that Sakhalin should be surrendered. It will be recalled that the Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation, which Mr. Crandall represents, holds a concession from the Far Eastern Republic for oil exploration and development in northern Sakhalin. This corporation had an observer at Changchun and Mr. Crandall’s suggestion was apparently based upon telegraphic messages from him.

I told Mr. Crandall that this Government had never receded from its position that Japan should withdraw from all Russian territory, including northern Sakhalin. I said, as I said to Mr. Skvirsky of the Far Eastern Republic delegation yesterday that within the recent past we had made it clear to Japan that this was still our attitude. I told Mr. Crandall that I doubted whether it would do good rather than harm to make any further intimations to Japan at this time. I said, however, that the interest of the Sinclair corporation in the Sakhalin question would be carefully borne in mind and that he could be assured that we would take whatever action, if any, may seem appropriate and advisable.

Mr. Crandall asked if the question of the recognition of the Far Eastern Republic was being considered and I told him that it was not, as the events of the past year had shown more clearly than ever that this government did not enjoy real independence vis-à-vis Moscow.


D. C. P[oole]