The Secretary of State to President Wilson
My Dear Mr. President: In a conversation which I had with Mr. Root at luncheon on the 9th he asked me if I had seen the address issued by the Stevens Commission. I said that I had not. The following day he sent me a copy which I enclose.
I fear Mr. Stevens is assuming an authority and giving the Commission a diplomatic character which neither possess. I call your particular attention to the portion of the address marked in red,24 by which he pledges the United States to do certain things, a pledge he had no power to make.
The pledge having been given I think that it would be unwise to repudiate it as the Russian people and Russian Government might misconstrue any repudiation of the Commission’s promise. At the same time it would seem advisable I think for Stevens to be told, preferably by you as the Commission is not a diplomatic one, that he has no authority to carry on negotiations or enter into agreements for the United States.