File No. 861.00/718

The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis) to the Secretary of State 1


No disturbance here to-day but tension very great. North front army reported starving and leaving trenches. German work more active, less secretive daily. Understand in direct connection by wireless with Berlin for two days and messages exchanged; also that German Minister for Foreign Affairs addressed message to Soviet government to which reply made by wireless.

Reported that new socialist government formed at Stavka with Tseretelli president, and will be supported by sufficient armed force to depose Bolshevik government, but unconfirmed-Newspapers contain official proclamation or order signed by Lenin and Krylenko directing soldiers to negotiate armistice themselves and to place their generals under arrest professedly for protection against lynching.

Have managed to continue in touch with Department of Ways of Communication without recognizing Smolny,2 having obtained special car for eighteen Americans on Trans-Siberian Railway express of the 20th instant and procured their tickets without asking Smolny approval. Sending Horn3 to Moscow to-night to relieve freight congestion there where reported over ten thousand cars containing provisions. Have arranged with Ways of Communication Department here for Horn’s recognition Moscow.

Trotsky in speech to committee reporting dispatch of notes to Allied representatives said that America entered war because German [Page 265] submarine warfare prevented shipping of supplies to Allied countries when her wharves were crowded with accumulation thereof, and that America’s aim in war is commercial supremacy.

Fear this armistice negotiation fraught with deplorable consequences. Soldiers without food and clothing will be more than willing to leave trenches, and when they do pillaging will result.

  1. Sent via the Legation in Sweden (No. 1004).
  2. Smolny Institute was used by the Bolsheviks as their headquarters.
  3. Henry J. Horn, member of the Advisory Commission of Railway Experts to Russia.