File No. 763.72/6868½

The British Embassy to the Department of State


The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs suggested to the British Ambassador in Petrograd that as a military conference is to be held in Paris towards the end of September, the suggested conference which Russian Ministers were to attend might conveniently meet a little later in London. Monsieur Tereshchenko proposed to take with him Prince Lvov and Monsieur Konovaloff, who is an economic expert. Sir George Buchanan observed that such a conference would have the great advantage of giving opportunity for a frank exchange of views between the Russian Government and the other Allies as regards Russia’s part in the war and material assistance to her from the Allies. It was difficult for the Allies to decide how far they could continue to despatch war material to Russia without personal contact with members of the Russian Government. This was all the more necessary in view of recent events on the Russian front, the economic and financial crisis, and the renewed activity of the Maximalists.

Monsieur Tereshchenko agreed and expressed the hope that an American representative would be invited to attend the conference, especially as financial questions would figure largely in the discussions.

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He also said that deplorable as the loss of Riga was, he did not believe Petrograd would be in real danger except from air attacks, and vigorous defensive measures were being taken. The Government did not wish to go to Moscow except as a last resort.

Sir George Buchanan expressed the hope that attention would not be distracted from the military crisis by the rumours about counterrevolution and the arrest of the two Grand Dukes. Monsieur Teresh-chenko replied that cypher messages and letters from the wife of the Grand Duke Paul had been found of a highly compromising nature, but the arrest of the Grand Dukes would probably not be prolonged and was only domiciliary.