File No. 711.612/66.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.


Your telegram of December 17, 9 p.m. I regret it if my telegram of December 17, 5 p.m., misled you. I first presented the note as ordered, saying that a more exact copy would be delivered to-day when certain words had been repeated. I made no diplomatic representations, but, prefacing my remarks by asking for unofficial conversation, proceeded as directed to explain the tone of the note. I was explicitly instructed in your telegram of December 15, 12 midnight, to secure “not later than Sunday afternoon” Russia’s consent to an amicable public announcement. It was the answer to this suggestion, not the answer to the note, that Sazanoff said could not be given in 24 hours.

The mere presentation of any note, and not your suggestion, was what roused his anger, Russian official taking the view that the United States, in trying to force Russia to receive all Jews, is seeking to destroy the Russian Empire. He refused to permit me even to explain in full your suggestion in regard to the announcement.

Corrected copy in English, with translation in French, were presented to the minister for foreign affairs this afternoon at 5.30, in accordance with your instructions in the telegram of December 17, together with complete text of that telegram, as ordered.

The minister for foreign affairs confirmed his statement of yesterday, as above explained; confirmed his understanding that the action of the President was to prevent more disagreeable action by Congress; and, while regretting the impossibility of agreeing on a newspaper statement by both countries as proposed, he promised immediate answer to the formal note.