President Wilson to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: The suggestion of a commission to Russia has come to me from a number of quarters and I am inclined to think that it would be a good plan to send one, and send it practically at once.
The important, perhaps the all-important thing is the personnel. Men of large view, tested discretion, and a sympathetic appreciation of just what it is they have been sent over for are the sort we need; and it is necessary, besides, that they should look the part.
House has suggested a prominent Jew (Oscar Straus), a business man (Willard Straight), a labor leader (Samuel Gompers), and an educator (Benjamin Ide Wheeler). What do you think, and whom would you suggest? . . . Crane has already gone to Russia and ought to be over there by this time, if his ship has escaped the submarines. Professor Harper of Chicago is widely known and trusted in Russia.
We must find the right men, and they must not all be Democrats,—need not any of them be Democrats,—but should all be genuinely enthusiastic for the success of the Russian revolution.