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ECONOMIC ASPECT of ACTIVITY of DELEGATION of the FAR EAST REPUBLIC In the USA (1921-1922)



ekaterina of FROLOVA

ECONOMIC ASPECT of ACTIVITY of DELEGATION of the FAR EAST REPUBLIC In the USA (1921-1922)

The Washington conference which took place during the period from November, 1921 to February, 1922 on which representatives of DVR received the unofficial invitation became an important stage in adjustment of the political and regional relations of the Far East republic (DVR) and the USA. At the same time the question of economic activity of delegation remained interesting and poorly studied aspect.

On November 9, 1920 at the conferences of the regional governments of the Far East which took place in Chita and Vladivostok the decision on a delegation trip to the United States of America with the purpose to awaken interest in the Russian Far East in Americans was made. At the end of March, 1921 the Prime Minister of DVR A.M. Krasnoshchyokov sent the telegram to the secretary G of osudarstvenny department of the USA about the admission of a mission of DVR to America. On the same question the chairman of a mission of DVR in China I. Yurin filed the corresponding petition on March 26, 1921 to the ambassador of the USA. The reply to both addresses did not follow. When the U.S. President U. Garding published the appeal to the allied countries concerning convocation of the Washington conference, I. Yurin addressed through the American ambassador in China the state secretary with special notoy1. The answer to this note also did not follow. On September 21, 1921 the American consulate in Vladivostok published the statement in which it was specified for impossibility of participation in the Washington conference of Russia in general or its any part and also the theory of "moral guardianship" was proclaimed.

Despite the developing circumstances, in October, 1921 the delegation of DVR which was allowed in the USA as "trade" left for work in the United States of America. Were a part of delegation: the chairman of delegation A.A. Yazykov, the secretary of delegation G.I. Pharman, the translator -

legation Golberg, members of delegation B.E. Skvirsky and P.N. Karavayev. Taking into account the general difficult situation of the Far East and "aggression of Japanese" and also participation of Americans in intervention and their interest in affairs of the Far East, the following tasks were set for delegation of DVR. "1). To acquaint the American official circles and public opinion with the true situation in the Far East and with the Japanese intentions. 2). To achieve participation in the Washington conference. 3). In case of failure to affect towards favorable permission of the Siberian question a conference. 4). To interest the American trade, industrial and financial circles in economic opportunities of DVR. 5). To achieve recognition of DVR from the American government" 1.

During the Washington conference against the background of political work of delegation of DVR in the USA its economic activity is poorly studied. The delegation carried out huge work. The literature disclosing state of the economy of the United States is studied and analyzed. The tables showing indicators of economic growth of the USA were made, acquaintance and communication with financial circles of the United States is made. In the course of the work the delegation came to a conclusion that though the USA was engaged in export of the raw materials and goods to various countries, this export by 20th years of the 20th century long ago reached rather small sizes. Till 1922 the export made 10-15% of all domestic production of the USA. In 1912 the export made 2.4 billion dollars, in 1919 in connection with war - 8 billion, in 1921 - about 4.5 billion, for the first three months 1922 - 860 million dollars. Figures of domestic production of the USA in the XX century fluctuated from 25 to 500 billion dollars. In 1916 the president Wilson in the speech said that foreign trade of the USA does not reach and 4% of all domestic trade.

The director of Bureau of domestic and foreign trade of the USA in Philadelphia in December, 1921 said that "...v that time as before war the American export

1 AVP Russian Federation, t. 04, op.51, 54805, l. 21.
2 AVP Russian Federation, t. 04, op.51, 54805, l. 111.

reached only 10% of all production of the country, nowadays reached the double sizes. Due to war the production of the country increased, and this surplus, as well as former normal export, look for an exit" 1. This situation was lit at a conference on foreign trade in Philadelphia in the middle of 1922. Thus, the delegation of DVR drew a conclusion that "America is only in recent years involved in foreign markets in more or less considerable degree. From here and growth, though slow, political interest in the countries out of the American continent. This interest even more increased in connection with enormous inflow of reserves of world gold to America. If the American products of 80-85% had provided domestic market, then for huge internal finance domestic market was close. Americans look for places of application of the capitals. In this regard almost not touched Asia begins to attract Americans more and more. Presence of the American groups which would wish to have an opportunity to work in Siberia and in particular in DVR is explained by it. Russia could serve as the market for sale of surplus of the American industry which expanded during the war and the place for application of a part of the excess capital. Only the position of the American government discourages representatives American the capital. Oil Sakhalin chained looks of Americans long ago. Thus, conclusions can be formulated in brief so: representatives of trade wish to have the Siberian market and in particular DVR though the last is not great; they are ready to provide for themselves the Siberian raw materials; financiers would wish to invest the capitals in mining industry of the republic". However such obstacles as fear of instability of the situation caused by the Japanese intervention, on the one hand, and postrevolutionary situation - with another got in the way to implementation of these plans. The main questions which were raised before delegation consisted in the following: whether the power of the Soviet Russia can extend to DVR and whether will be at the same time natsio-

1 Official Report of the 9th National Foreign Trade Convention. - Fila, May 1922, p. 10.
2 AVP Russian Federation, t. 04, op.51, 54805, l. 111-112.

nalizirovana property of foreigners. The American business community the lack of official recognition of DVR as guarantor of their activity confused. Besides, almost complete ignorance not only features of political and economic life of DVR, but also the fact of existence of the republic took place.

For the benefit of attraction of the American capital in DVR, on the one hand, and its uses politically - with another, the delegation came into contacts with trade, industrial, financial circles of the USA.

Lewis Peylen was the first representative of the financial world whom the delegation had to meet soon after the arrival to America. Earlier he visited Chita where he conducted negotiations on the organization of bank and also insisted on right of emission for this bank. Further the delegation met representatives of "Neshenel City bank", "Kuna, Loub and To.", Ekvitabl, Garantii Trost Co., etc. The delegation discussed an issue of a loan for DVR with the representative of "Neshenel City Bank" vice president Shvedman. He said that their bank would like to resume the work not only with DVR, but also with Russia though concerning the last there was a number of the obstacles connected with debts. Representatives of bank preferred to improve the relations with DVR only after leaving from its territory of Japanese. With the representative of Ekvitabl bank vice president La-Blanc, the conversation was conducted mainly about concession opportunities of DVR. As a result of meetings with bankers the delegation came to a conclusion that in Siberia they have a keen interest in work, but as obstacles to cooperation serve the Japanese intervention and uncertainty in stability unrecognized respubliki1.

On the issue of concessions in DVR the delegation had to carry on a numerous talk with a number of persons. The greatest interest of Americans was attracted by gold and the wood. Some of them were inclined to conduct negotiations with delegation only in case of existence of specific proposals with exhaustive data. Receiving general information, without concrete any given instruction

the site which was offered by the government of DVR did not satisfy the American industrialists. Thus, the lack of concrete data badly affected effectiveness of work of delegation. Only one group agreed later preliminary negotiations with the Russian delegation to arrive to Russia for 6 months and to place the order for concession. Entered into this group: vice president of one large company, former general Robert Wood, former mayor of Cincinnati Henry Hent, general Grevs, engineer Grosobard, banker G erbert Lehman, banker Houart G udhart. These persons organized "Committee on the organization of the Far East prospecting company". They provided rather large sum for a parcel of one or two persons to Chita for geological researches and final negotiations. Only that the engineer Grosbard several times was in the territory of DVR and also thanks to the authority of the general Grevs other participants of this group agreed to expenses before the actual receiving kontsessiy1.

During the Washington conference to delegation a large number of persons made inquiries about trade with DVR. Inquiries arrived both from exporters, and from importers. Importers very much were interested in a possibility of purchases of the raw materials going from DVR namely furs, a bristle and other raw materials. One of major fur companies Funston controlling an auction in St. Louis offered the conclusion of the transaction according to which the government of DVR would hand over to firm all the furs for sale from an auction. Under the furs which already got on the station Manchuria on the way to America, the firm offered delivery of advance payment for 70% of cost of bellows in Harbin or other place. For work the firm asked 5% and separately 6% in an advance payment. On the proposal of delegation to sign the contract for one year on condition that the firm will receive within a year in three steps furs on 1 million dollars at immediate delivery of advance payments of 50%, the firm brought up a question of guarantees outside DVR as its government was not officially recognized by Washington. But not -

the determination of the government of DVR concerning the conclusion of any contracts with the American partners nullified results of work of delegation.

In May, 1922 in Philadelphia the representative of delegation B.E. Skvirsky took part in the Convention on foreign trade on which the Women's committee of the USA supported recognition of Russia and distributed to all members of the convention the special circular on the matter.

About economic opportunities in DVR articles began to be published in official and unofficial publications of the USA. Representatives of the ironworks, mostostroitelny, car-building, drazhny and locomotive plants were interested in a possibility of obtaining orders for restoration of the railroads DVR. Such companies, as "Baldvin the locomotive and To.", were ready even to agree to the long-term credit in the presence of satisfactory guarantees. This company constantly was interested in a possibility of supply of the railroads DVR under KVZhD guarantees. The transport firm of Carver working together with Germans and the Soviet Russia suggested the government of DVR to form transport corporation. The delegation also knew that some steamship companies plan to open the regular message between America and Vladivostok.

Allocating delegation of the Far East Republic from among other Russian representatives, the United States at the same time sought to use "DVR factor" as the tool of pressure upon Japan with the purpose to force it to leave the Russian limits. This tactics was continuation of the American policy directed to removal of Japan from the continent that had to compensate the concessions to Japanese in naval area recorded in contracts of four and five powers. At the same time interaction with DVR allowed the USA to avoid reproaches in assistance to Bolsheviks. The aspiration of the USA to consider the territorial interests of Russia came to light already when signing the Contract of four powers which did not include Sakhalin in number of the Pacific territories, which inviolability in common garanti-

participants of the contract rovat.

December 21, 1921. Yazykov reported to Moscow: "The agreement of Four powers does not mean a concession of Sakhalin which is not included in a sphere of influence of Japan.

Responsible Americans firmly say that the Siberian question will be raised, and they will insist on leaving of Japanese" 1.

On January 21-24, 1922 at the Washington conference "the Russian question" was considered. None of the Russian representatives were invited. However the discussion took place in the atmosphere, adverse for Japan. Any of powers did not support its claims on a privileged position in Eastern Siberia and in any given form condemned presence of the Japanese troops in Primorye and on Northern Sakhalin. Japan was forced to agree with withdrawal of troops from the Russian territory though the Japanese delegation evaded from the concrete indication of date of evacuation.

The conference also adopted the resolution on KVZhD. She confirmed powers of the interallied committee created in 1919 and the purpose of its activity - return of KVZhD of Russia as to the legal owner and also recognized as inadmissible assignment of the property rights by any other state. In other words, "internationalization" of KVZhD did not happen what so were afraid in Moscow of. Moreover, the rights of Russia as the owner of this railroad were confirmed.

February 6, 1922. The Washington conference completed the work. Its decisions created a new international and political situation in the Far East and in the Pacific Rim in general.

The Washington conference not only did not lead to creation of a united anti-Soviet front on Distant the East, but also objectively improved the international positions of the Soviet Russia in this region. Bolsheviks made sure that the Japanese policy for Russia does not enjoy the international support. The Soviet state had an opportunity to carry out on Distant

1 Tsit. on: A.Yu. Sidorov. Foreign policy of the Soviet Russia in the Far East (19171922). - M, 1998, p. 92.

East more rigid political policy.

In this regard it is difficult to overestimate a delegation contribution to restoration of the Russian-American relations. The work of delegation of DVR during the Washington conference which became result of political, economic and diplomatic activity rendered the indisputable help in establishing political contacts with the United States of America not only the Far East, but also Russia in general, by dissemination of authentic data on DVR and about economic opportunities of the Russian Far East.

Ekaterina Aleksandrovna FROLOVA is the graduated in a military academy of the Khabarovsk boundary institute FSB of Russia

Charles Robinson
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