861.24/511: Telegram

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

1001. Following from Ward,39 Vladivostok.

“29. July 10. The customs and port authorities at Vladivostok have made little if any progress during the past 6 months toward organizing the orderly handling of transit shipments. I am informed that an alarming proportion of the machine tools and railway equipment received from the United States during that period is hopelessly confused. I have seen cases and machinery parts from the United States strewn about the harbor enclosure where they are being held for the reason that identification numbers and marks have been obliterated or the shipping documents have been lost. The German Consul General informed me several days prior to the outbreak of the German-Soviet war that notwithstanding the arduous efforts of himself and his staff not less than 10 per cent of the goods passing through Vladivostok to or from Germany were lost here. In view of the foregoing and of news received through radio broadcast to the effect that the United States will send war supplies to the Soviet Union through Vladivostok, I wish to suggest that arrangements be made to have a qualified American here to coordinate shipments of such supplies. If a person is sent for this purpose it would be well to have a clear understanding with the Soviet authorities regarding his functions so that he will have free access to the harbor enclosure and the warehouses therein, without which he will be unable to make the necessary searches for lost or misplaced shipments.

There have been persistent rumors in the city during the last week of new concentrations of Japanese troops in considerable force along the Manchukuo frontier to the west of Vladivostok, Voroshilovsk and Khabarovsk, but I have been unable to obtain definite information on the matter.”

Sent to the Department via Shanghai.

  1. Angus Ivan Ward, American Consul at Vladivostok.