File No. 763.72/4389
The Russian Chargé ( Onou) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 4.]
Mr. Secretary of State: The Provisional Russian Government, on March 27 of this year,2 published a manifesto to the citizens in which it set forth, the views of free Russia’s Government on the aims of the present war.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs directs me to communicate to you the said document and to accompany it with the following remarks:
Our enemies have lately been endeavoring to sow dissension among the Allies by propagating inane reports about the alleged intention of Russia to conclude a separate peace with the Central Monarchies. The text of the enclosed document will best refute such fabrications. The general principles therein enunciated by the Provisional Government are in entire agreement with the lofty ideas that have constantly been proclaimed to the most recent hour by eminent statesmen in the Allied countries. Those principles have also been given luminous expression in the words of the President of our latest ally, the great Republic beyond the seas. The government of the old régime in Russia assuredly was not in a position to imbibe and share those views on the liberating character of the war, the creation of a stable basis for the pacific cooperation of the peoples, the liberties of oppressed nations, etc. Emancipated Russia can now speak a language that will be understood by modern democracies and hastens to mingle her voice with those of her allies. Imbued with this new spirit of a freed democracy, the Provisional Government’s declarations cannot of course afford the slightest ground for the deduction that the collapse of the old edifice means a lesser share taken by Russia in the common struggle of all the Allies. Quite to the contrary, the national will to carry on the World War to a decisive victory has been still further accentuated by that sense [Page 54] of responsibility which now rests upon all jointly and severally. This tendency has been rendered even more active by the fact that it is centered on the immediate task which all have so much at heart—that of driving back the enemy who invaded the territory of our fatherland. It remains understood, and the enclosed document expressly so states, that the Provisional Government, while safeguarding the rights acquired by its country, will continue the strict observance of the engagements assumed toward Russia’s allies. Firmly convinced of the victorious outcome of the present war, and in perfect accord with its allies, the Provisional Government is equally sure that the problems arising out of this war will be solved by means of the creation of a firm basis of a lasting peace and that, inspired by identical sentiments, the allied democracies will find means of obtaining the guarantees and sanctions, needed to prevent a recurrence of sanguinary conflicts in the future.
Be pleased to accept [etc.]
- The date on which this note was sent out by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, for communication to the American and Allied Governments, was May 1, and it is generally referred to as of that date in historical accounts and in the discussion which followed in Russia; see despatch from the Consul in Petrograd, No. 300, May 8, Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, Vol. I, p. 42.↩
- Old style; April 9, new style.↩