File No. 763.72/5228

The Commercial Adviser of the British Embassy ( Crawford) to the Counselor for the Department of State ( Polk)

Dear Mr. Counsellor: You will recollect that on April 10 I brought to your attention the very large quantities of munitions for Russia awaiting shipment to the White Sea, for the transport of which I expressed the hope that the United States might be able to assign some of its available tonnage. Since that time, in communications land discussions on the subject of the transportation of Allied supplies, we have perhaps laid more emphasis on the needs of France and Italy and on the tonnage required to convey railway material, etc., to Vladivostok than on the urgent requirements of Archangel. Recently, however, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Russian Embassy and the Russian commission in New York [Page 601] have urged on our attention the fact of the large stocks of munitions now accumulated here which can only be shipped to Archangel. They have emphasised the shortness of the period during which shipment to Archangel is possible as entitling this service to priority over other services for the Allies, and they have also pointed out that, owing to the special conditions at Archangel, requiring ships of a certain draught only, it would be just that they should have first choice of ships which the United States Government may place at the disposal of the Allies.

According to figures supplied by the Russian Government Transportation Committee in New York, reckoning stocks now on hand (212,000 tons) and deliveries up to the middle of September, Russia will require to ship 613,000 tons of cargo to Archangel up to September 15, from this country.

We have submitted this situation to the Government in London and we hope to have some indication, necessarily a rough one, of the extent to which we expect to be able to furnish Russia with tonnage for the White Sea, but meanwhile we are instructed to put before you the urgent need for ships for this service and to inform you that the British and Russian Governments are in full agreement as to its vital importance. I trust that this statement may be of some assistance to the United States Government in deciding the allotment of American tonnage among the Allies.

Yours sincerely,

R. Crawford