763.72 Su/32½

President Wilson to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I was indeed very much disturbed by this message. I will speak to McAdoo about the impropriety of Crosby’s taking part in any such action in the future. The Inter-Allied Board was certainly not constituted to give political advice.

And this leads me to beg that you will communicate with the Governments of Great Britain, France, and Italy to the following effect,—referring to the recent action of the Supreme War Council with regard to conditions of peace and to this action of the Inter-Allied Board with regard to the recognition of the Bolshevik authorities:

That the President wishes very respectfully but very earnestly to urge that when he suggested the creation of the Inter-Allied Board and gave his active support to the creation of the Supreme War Council it was not at all in his mind that either of these bodies should take any action or express any opinion on political subjects. He would have doubted the wisdom of appointing representatives of this Government on either body had he thought that they would undertake the decision of any questions but the very practical questions of supply and of the concerted conduct of the war which it was understood they should handle. He would appreciate it very much if this matter were very thoroughly reconsidered by the political leaders of the Governments addressed and if he might be given an opportunity, should their view in this matter differ from his, to consider once more the conditions and instructions under which representatives of the United States should henceforth act.65

This is, it may be, a bit blunt, but I think it imperative that we should safeguard ourselves in this all-important matter. Perhaps you will think it best to communicate these views through the diplomatic representatives here, so that they may put it in their own language after being given to understand how grave our objection is.

Faithfully yours,

W. W.
  1. This was communicated to the Ambassadors in France, Great Britain, and Italy and to the French, British, and Italian Ambassadors in Washington on February 18. See Foreign Relations, 1918, supp. 1, vol. i, p. 125.