File No. 768.72/5059
The Chargé in Japan ( Wheeler) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 1, 5.50 p.m.]
Your telegram of May 28, 6 p.m. Russian Extraordinary Mission to the United States, dispatched pursuant to decree of April 25 [/May 8?] of the Provisional Russian Government, consisting of 47 persons, including 10 ladies, 6 of whom are members, sail by Empress of Japan June 2 arriving Vancouver 13th. Mission is headed by Bakhmeteff, accredited Ambassador to United States, who is accompanied by his wife and whose personal staff consists of Sookine, representative of the Foreign Office and secretary of the mission, Messrs. Omelchenko and Karpovich and Baron Gunsburg, secretaries, and Dubasov, aide-de-camp. Principal members are Lieutenant General Roop, representative of Russian General Staff, Captain Leadingoff, his aide-de-camp, Colonel Oranovski, representative of Ministry of War for Munitions and Supplies; Professor Lomonosov of the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute, representative of Ministry of Ways of Communication, and Kupryanov, his assistant; Professor Borodin, representative of Ministry of Agriculture; Novitski, representative of Ministry of Finance, and his assistants, Pertsov and Puskarev; Sergievski, representative of Russian press. Bakhmeteff is charged with negotiations for war loan; Lomonosov’s [group] are railway experts and engineers and will negotiate for accessories and rolling stock; Borodin’s group will purchase agricultural machinery. Lincoln Steffens, American correspondent, accompanies party. Full personnel has been transmitted to Russian Embassy, Washington. Whole number traveling first class, no servants. Mission prefers to take Canadian Pacific route to Chicago via Portland and asks that Russian Embassy be communicated with and if any arrangements have been made for them as to routing, purchase of tickets, berths, etc., they be instructed by wire at Vancouver. They bring large quantity of governmental printed matter and moving pictures for Red Cross for which they request customs facilities at frontier.
Members of commission inform me that in Petrograd and on the line anxiety exists as to attitude of Stevens commission, reports that it was to “run” Trans-Siberian Railway having caused resentment against [foreign] intrusion. Bakhmeteff shared this anxiety. I assured him commission came representing the President and the people of the United States with idea only of placing its railway knowledge and experience in transportation problems at the disposal [Page 157] of Russian people to use or reject as their judgment may dictate. He expressed satisfaction and sent telegrams to subvert any unfavorable impression for local publicity along the route in advance.