File No. 861.00/571

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


1836. Answering your 1751 repeating cable from American Minister, Stockholm. My daily cables have advised of the general situation and of developments as they occurred if affecting same. Numerous outbreaks, some outrages, many defiances of authority, frequent acts of insubordination, have marked the progress of revolution, but not surprising when we consider the expanse of the country, inadequate, inefficient transportation, unsatisfactory communication by post and wire of 180,000,000 people oppressed by [Page 203] absolute monarchy for thousand years. Russians are devoted to the land, naturally quick to comprehend and act. Masses are deficient in education, superstitious and inclined to [omission], but kind-hearted with good impulses and require guidance. Socialists making supreme effort to put their principles into operation, taking advantage of war leaders of extreme factions, are assisted by German money in abundance. Russian population comprises Caucasian, yellow and Semitic races as classified here and composed of seventy-four nationalities. Problem extremely difficult but not insoluble. Deplorable conditions mainly attributable to returned exiles, majority from America, Trotsky being most troublesome. Great need for discreet propaganda to influence Russian sentiment, restore army morale and correct erroneous impressions concerning America. Protest meeting Thursday was German propaganda; best speaker Shatov who said America dominated by capitalists and laborers more oppressed there than here; called President Wilson an emperor and free America a travesty. My sympathy with Russia deep, sincere and my conviction strong that the country will survive ordeal and be safe for democracy if we and other Allies are patient and helpful. It may cost some bloodshed; perhaps property losses by those who never earned their possessions but such on the other hand will owe nothing to such Russians as the Ambassador to Spain who deserted his country when his services most needed. These people realize that separate peace or German success spells loss of liberty gained by revolution which was precipitated by fear and suspicion on their part that deposed monarchy was planning separate peace under German influence.

Just learned that another protest meeting on Berkman case planned for Putilov ammunition works Sunday afternoon with same speakers. Unquestionably German propaganda.