File No. 861.00/456

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


1584. Conferred with Tereshchenko, Foreign Office, 10 o’clock, and Kerensky, Winter Palace, 12 o’clock. Both interviews encouraging. Former stated Kerensky had decided to put railroads under military control and adopt recommendations American Railway Commission; Kornilov supplanted Brusilov as commander in chief because firmer, having already shot one hundred and forty odd men, including one general, for disobedience; new Ministry will be selected to-day, announced to-morrow; Chernov remains temporarily and Cadets accepting three or four portfolios.

Kerensky says psychology of situation improving. Russia resolved on prosecuting war vigorously. Morale of the army better [Page 172] under Kornilov’s command, calling him the man of confidence, appears physically fit. Replying to my statement that you desired full information about developments, he said America less interested in defeat of Germany than Russia because further removed consequently less subject to danger. Says Germans probably capture Jassy, possibly Riga but not Petrograd. Talked quite frankly and said would see me whenever desired. When I remarked that there were some in America who doubted Russian determination to prosecute war, made impatient but pleasant gesture and expression indicating no room under the circumstances for such doubt and said under all circumstances America should extend financial and material aid even with closed eyes.

Court martial [possible omission] both Ministers with menace of food scarcity, food conditions growing daily worse and absolute necessity prompt remedy. Provisional Government issues to-day address to all “at this time when new and great calamities have fallen to the lot of Russia we consider it necessary to clearly and definitely expose our views.” Referring to difficulties encountered within and without and saying it enters upon fourth year of war undaunted thereby it calls upon citizens of Russia to be steadfast saying: “We know that on the outcome of this struggle depend our liberty and the liberty of humanity.” States temporary retreat of the army will not prevent another advance after reorganization and renovation. States, “No difficulties will cause Russia to give up her steadfast determination to carry on the war until the complete triumph of the ideals proclaimed by the Russian revolution.”