File No. 711.612/64.


Referring to the Department’s telegram of December 15, 11 p.m., and December 15, 12 midnight, I presented the note as directed in accordance with instructions to the minister for foreign affairs. [Page 698] Sazanoff, as always, received me personally with perfect courtesy, but expressed emphatically his surprise at the action of the Government of the United States, which he regarded as most unfriendly. The request for any answer from Russia within 24 hours he finds a departure from all diplomatic procedure; and this suggestion, however cautiously conveyed, can not be acted upon because it is impossible to call the council of ministers together on Sunday; and until all the ministers can be called together no answer or public statement of any kind can be authorized.

The note having been presented and notice given of the termination of the treaty, he felt himself unable even to listen, either in private or official conversation, to any agreement as to a public announcement of any kind. Russia’s position is that she has faithfully observed the treaty, and that the action of the United States is unaccountable.

The situation is such that the note will be regarded as not having been formally presented until Monday afternoon. Once formally presented no amicable discussion of the question is possible, Russia taking the ground that no self-respecting nation can act under pressure from abroad.