File No. 861.00/430

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


1538. Most satisfactory interview with Prince Lvov who says retiring because program adopted means socialistic government although claimed not. Main objection to agrarian feature which he says impracticable, says retired suggesting Kerensky as successor because program adopted can be executed only by Kerensky who accepts Presidency. Nekrasov, former Minister of Ways of Communication, becomes Minister of Justice; Demidov, Minister of Public Welfare.1 Other vacancies unfilled but Lvov says no more socialists will be named than Sufficient to preserve proportion adopted when coalition Ministry formed, which six socialists, nine non-socialists. Lvov much pleased, saying while new Ministry was short-lived the elimination of Bolshevik faction eradicated German influence and insures success to revolution. Lvov says leading Bolsheviks including Lenin arrested, publication of Pravda stopped and all regiments taking part in demonstration of July 17 being disbanded by regulars from front who are here in sufficient numbers and with proper spirit to execute orders of the Ministry. He said that regiments being disbanded number 70,000 members but no resistance to disbanding and disarming order being offered. Lvov is a patriot [Page 164] and I complimented him sincerely on four months of service. He accepted office reluctantly, relinquishes resignedly, saying ready to obey his country’s call if made again.

Went from Lvov to Minister of Foreign Affairs whom I found in conference with several colleagues whom he left to receive me. He asked me about conditions in Petrograd and I replied that I had called to learn same from him to report to my Government. He remarked situation quite satisfactory and when I asked, in every respect, he told me Kerensky would take charge of situation and reluctantly informed me that Lvov would probably resign this evening when Kerensky be made President and Nekrasov, Vice President. Never told him had seen Lvov. These changes in Ministry absolutely secret and probably will not be given out until tomorrow noon. Lvov said Germans broken through Russian line at southwest front but Government had broken through German line in Petrograd which would greatly enthuse army, meaning German intrigue obliterated. Told him food situation great menace, he replied would improve as Bolsheviks had intentionally made food scarce. Another crisis past and atmosphere clearer.

  1. In the ministry as published in Izvestia Aug. 7 Nekrasov became Minister of Finance, see also post, p. 178, and Demidov did not receive an appointment.