861.24/1364: Telegram

The Consul General at Vladivostok ( Ward ) to the Secretary of State

8. During mid-August 1942 I was informed by an unofficial source that Japan was selling crude rubber to the Soviet Union and this information has been repeated to me from time to time by other unofficial sources, but I have been able to obtain no evidence definitely confirming this information nor have I been able to ascertain the quantity involved or whether the shipments entered the Soviet Union through Vladivostok or some other Soviet far eastern port or by land over the Manchukuo frontier. Since early October I have heard repeatedly from unofficial sources that Japan is selling light duty tires to the Soviet Union and that some of these tires are in use on passenger automobiles at Vladivostok. Several informants allege that during the past 5 to 6 months they have seen new tires of Japanese manufacture [Page 755] on passenger cars in Vladivostok and one informant alleges that he has seen new tires bearing the brand of a Yokohama tire company. One informant now alleges that he has learned that the Soviet Government purchased half a million tires from Japan in September 1942. Neither [garbled]85 or any American member of my staff has identified any tire in Vladivostok during recent months as of Japanese manufacture.

I have seen no raw rubber in the port since the summer of 1941 and while I have seen a hundred tons or more of heavy duty tires stocked in sheds in the port within the past 4 months all that I was able to approach sufficiently close to identify were of United States manufacture. Since I am accorded access to the port only rarely and on those occasions my movements are restricted to definite areas and I am constantly under close surveillance I have no opportunity to observe most of the goods stored therein.

Information requested in Department’s 7 of March 2486 will be cabled if obtainable.

  1. The name of a diplomatic officer was probably intended here; presumably the name was that of Warwick Perkins, then First Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union assigned as Administrative Officer and Chief of the Consular Section in the Embassy.
  2. This telegram read: “Please cable any available information as to dates and tonnages of arrivals of rubber in Vladivostok from Japan or occupied territories during last 12 months.” (861.24/1363a)