File No. 763.72/4137

The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis ) to the Secretary of State


1231. Milyukov tells me informally that Russia has decided to send commission to America earliest possible date. Chairman will be Boris Bakhmeteff, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, who is well acquainted with America where was connected with Russian commission until November last, not related to present Ambassador. Other members of the commission will be high officials representing Ministries War, Ways of Communication and Trade and Bakhmeteff has been tendered ambassadorship to America, so Milyukov tells me, but Minister of Trade and Industry objects to his leaving. Bankhmeteff has just called says he will undoubtedly go as head of commission on [Page 154] confirmation and vested with ambassador’s powers but will soon return. My judgment is that he will be Ambassador and that he will be most capable one, this however is unofficial.

Bourse gazette says American commission will be Boot, chairman, Straus, Hurley and Morgenthau. Reuter says commission will consist of three or four members with staff of secretaries and assistants but gives no names except Charles Crane. He is here, has many influential acquaintances, familiar with conditions. There is no social official life here. Ministers meet daily remaining in session after midnight working assiduously, having refused all social invitations including from myself to whom they profess to feel very close. Reports come to me of nervousness among people generally, many of the wealthier classes leaving Petrograd. I do not anticipate excesses but they are rumored and if should come very likely be directed against Jews first.