File No. 861.00/460

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

[Telegram]

1597. General Gurko commanding western front before revolution and two months thereafter arrested Petrograd to-day where ordered by Government from Caucasus. Letter found dated March 19 written by Gurko to Emperor expressing fealty after abdication and after Gurko sworn to support Provisional Government.

Efforts to fill Ministry vacancies with representative Cadets fruitless. Kerensky resigned last evening whereupon four other Ministers including Tereshchenko resigned but all resignations subsequently withdrawn. Just left Minister of Foreign Affairs who says Kerensky again resigned 5 o’clock because cannot form Ministry unless given unquestioned authority therefor. Council meets 9 o’clock to consider resignation. Kerensky coming midnight to ascertain result. He says socialists and non-socialists claim his services essential to Government but if absolute power not given him must withdraw and permit them to settle differences. Socialistic Ministers including Kerensky have been reporting semiweekly to Council Workmen-Soldiers which is embarrassing and objectionable to Kerensky, arrived where must decide whether quit Ministry or break with his Social Revolutionary Party. Above program indicates has elected latter course. It has public sentiment and army will sustain him therein. Many exaggerated reports concerning number shot at front for disobedience. Kornilov growing in public estimation and considered by many stronger than Kerensky.

Tereshchenko says will advocate Ministry of five members including commander in chief of the army and another general, leaving department business for chiefs without voice in determining policies. More later.

Francis