711.94114 Supplies/5–1545: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan)

1076. ReEmbs 173, January 18 and related telegrams. There follows a list of the items composing the shipment recently authorized by the Soviet Government of relief supplies to Vladivostok:

Under Bills of Lading RC 1 to RC 14 inclusive:

28,788 cartons Amcross food packages.

14,375 cases Cancross49 food packages.

449 cases, 6 crates containing recreational, athletic, religious and educational material.

5,190 cases medical supplies.

Cubic feet 109,471; weight 3,224,142 pounds, value $873,972.

These supplies are now en route aboard the SS V[torayoi] Pyatiletka, which departed from Portland about May 1. Inform Vladivostok.

We have been informed by the Legation at Bern50 that the Japanese Government, owing to the linking of the Awa Maru, has decided to abandon a plan previously outlined under which that ship would proceed to Nakhodka to pick up these supplies and deliver them to various Japanese-controlled areas where Allied nationals are held. Legation states that Japanese Government has so informed Soviet Government.

While not explicitly stated, it is assumed that the Japanese are not presently planning to send any ship to Nakhodka to pick up these [Page 1063] supplies. Clarification on this point can probably be obtained from Soviet authorities. On the assumption that the Soviet authorities not only are desirous of assisting the American Government in connection with the onward shipment of these supplies, but also that Soviet authorities will not desire to have these supplies on hand for a prolonged period at Vladivostok, it is suggested that Embassy approach Soviet Foreign Office and bespeak the latter’s further intercession with Japanese Government with a view to reinstating the arrangement made between Soviet and Japanese authorities under which Japanese were to pick up these supplies at Nakhodka. Alternatively, or if Soviet authorities unsuccessful in further negotiations with Japanese, explore possibility of onward carriage of these supplies to Japan via Soviet ship. If not convenient for Soviet authorities to assign a ship solely for this purpose perhaps arrangements could be made whereby the supplies could be put aboard a Soviet ship proceeding to the U.S. to be offloaded at a Japanese port en route. Assurances should be given Soviet authorities that all expenses incurred in connection with shipment by this means would be promptly reimbursed by Allied authorities. In this connection Embassy may wish to point out to Soviet authorities that thus far no account has been rendered with respect to expenses incurred by Soviet Government in connection with first transfer of supplies at Nakhodka last November. Reimbursement of such expenses will be made promptly upon the submission of a statement.

Embassy’s comments invited as to timeliness of approaching Soviet authorities along line suggested in Department’s 181, January 27.

  1. Canadian Red Cross.
  2. Telegram 2672, May 9, printed in vol. vi , section under Japan entitled “Efforts by the United States to send financial and other assistance to American nationals held by Japan.”