711.94114 Supplies/16: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Standley )

771. Your 1142, August 23.98 Following for the Ambassador’s strictly confidential and personal information.

Concurrently with the negotiations conducted through diplomatic channels in an effort to arrange for the shipment of prisoner of war relief supplies to Vladivostok on the Soviet vessels, the War Department took up this question with the Soviet Purchasing Commission in the United States. In reply to the War Department’s representations, Major General Belyaev, Chairman of the Commission, sent a letter on August 2699 to General Somervell1 which reads in paraphrase as follows:

“In regard to your request that relief supplies for American prisoners held by the Japanese be shipped to Vladivostok, I am pleased [Page 815] to tell you that the Soviet Government, without awaiting the conclusion of a formal agreement between the United States and Japan concerning the onward movement of these supplies, is ready to begin carrying such supplies to Vladivostok.

In order that these shipments may be effected, we would like to have the following information: (1) Kind of goods; (2) Volume of supplies; (3) Nature of marking and packing; and (4) Date when goods may be expected at Portland.”

The War Department is satisfied with this reply and intends to start sending supplies to Vladivostok without delay. As the War Department has requested that nothing be done to disturb the present arrangements, it does not seem advisable for the present that you press the Foreign Office for an answer to your note. If future developments require further negotiation through diplomatic channels in this matter, the Department will advise you accordingly.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 95, p. 813.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General, U.S. Army Service Forces.