File No. 861.00/427
The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 23, 5.05 a.m.]
1521. Last evening began demonstration by workmen and soldiers under inspiration of Bolsheviks against Provisional Government [Page 160] ostensible grievance being Kerensky’s order for demobilization two regiments at front because refuse to obey orders. Crowds of armed and unarmed persons marched through streets finally assembling at Duma where were addressed by Cheidze, counseling moderation and advising disbandment, but such advice received coldly, whereupon Trotsky, the exiled Russian taken from Christianiafjord and detained at Halifax in April, aroused great enthusiasm by advocating violent measures. Motors of Ministers commandeered and efforts made to arrest Lvov and Kerensky but latter had departed for front. Four Cadet Ministers resigned. Remaining Ministers offered to transfer Government to Soldiers-Workmen who declined expressing preference for coalition government. Lvov then outlined policy on which demanded concurrence and furthermore required resignation of Chernov, Minister of Agriculture, whom he terms suspicious character trying to get connection [appointed?] Minister for Foreign Affairs. Large crowd assembling at Duma composed of workmen and disloyal soldiers; rumors of Cossacks’ being summoned; some firing last night and reported casualties but nothing definite is known; none yet today. More later.