File No. 861.00/299

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


1292. Your 1127, March 23. From Gompers:

On March 21 I sent the following cablegram:

Washington, March 21, 1917.

N. S. Cheidze,
Russian Duma,

We rejoice with Russia’s workers in their newly achieved liberty. The splendid proclamation of your Provisional Government, declaring for free speech and press and the right of workers to organize and if necessary to strike for their rights, guarantees to Russia’s workers opportunity for freedom and progress and assures the new Russia her future greater glory. International labor welcomes the triumph of freedom and the downfall of despotism throughout the world.


Evidently the cablegram was either not received or if received not published. Will you please have delivered and made public the following message:

Washington, April 2, 1917.

N. S. Cheidze,

Representative of working people of Russia, accept this message to the men of labor of Russia. We send greeting. The newly established liberty of Russia finds a warm response in the hearts of America’s workers. We rejoice at the intelligence, courage and the conviction of a people who, even while concentrating every effort upon defense against foreign aggression, have reorganized their own institutions upon principles of freedom and democracy. But it is impossible to achieve the ideal state immediately. When the right foundation has been established, the masses can daily utilize opportunities for progress, more complete justice, and greater liberty. Freedom is achieved in meeting the problems of life and work. It cannot be established by revolution only—it is the product of evolution. Even in the Republic of the United States of America the highest ideals of freedom are incomplete, but we have the will and the opportunity. In the name of America’s workers whose watchwords are Justice, Freedom and Humanity we plead that Russia’s workers and masses shall maintain what you have already achieved and [go on] to practically and rationally solve the problems of to-day and to safeguard the future from the reactionary forces who would gladly take advantage of your lack of unity to reestablish the old regimé of royalty, reaction, tyranny and injustice. Our best wishes are with Russia in her new opportunity.

Samuel Gompers
President, American Federation of Labor