File No. 861.00/722

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

[Telegram]

2025. Attempt to form government at Stavka failed being unable to agree on Tseretelli or Chernov. Latter acceptable to army but not to other socialist factions. Doubtful whether either could command sufficient following to overthrow Lenin.

Quiet here. In some cases regiment reserves right to determine after which [whether] it will obey order when received and even if majority decide affirmatively minority do not comply unless wish. Barracks of Litovski regiment only a block and half from the Embassy. Polish guard left Embassy Wednesday on advice but I sent military attaché to Litovski barracks to inform commander did not desire guard, that regiment having been ordered to supplant Polish guard. Requested military attaché, however, to say that if necessity for use of guard should arise would advise commander by messenger. Military attaché reported guard would be furnished on request. Judson 2 has independently advised that I permit two soldiers of Litovski regiment to stand guard at the Embassy entrance as he has done at Military Mission. I think inadvisable to do so, consequently have had two Embassy employees on guard after 1 p.m., until which time police officer sat in my apartment. My instruction to guard is not to fire on any one attempting forcible entrance but to advise me as I live in Embassy. I should go to entrance in such event and if necessary would dispatch messenger to Litovski barracks for guard. Such arrangements preferable to Bolshevik guard in whom have no confidence and do not know whom it would admit. Three nights passed undisturbed. Understand no bread obtainable Petrograd today and if this continues may have riots. Food shipped by you arrived and distributed. Have you received my personal checks therefor mailed September 21? Last of food entered Embassy to-day. [Page 266] Shortly afterwards Red Guard demanded to know what was in packages which entered Embassy gateway and documents permitting same. I directed report that this was American Embassy and packages contained food and kerosene shipped from America, whereupon guards apologized and left. Lawlessness seems inevitable and even Embassy may have trouble. If so shall exercise discretion.

Naval attaché reports hearing that British and French Embassies requested battalion each from their respective Governments for protection. Both Embassies have Bolshevik guards. Italian and Japanese Embassies have no guards nor any Legation except possibly Portuguese, Rumanian and Belgian.

Krylenko due at Stavka this evening, having left here yesterday in armored train. Will probably arrest Dukhonin.

What do you think of treating Russia as China was treated? Have considered recommending that the President issue address to Russian people pledging our earnest efforts to furnish shoes and clothing and directing attention to progress we are making in improving transportation by which food scarcity would be relieved as there is abundance thereof in Russia if properly distributed.

Please thank Crane for appreciated London message of the 16th received 22d after his sailing and say I hold him to his promise to visit Mrs. Francis whom hope Department keeping informed of my safety.

Francis
  1. Sent via the Legation in Sweden (No. 1070).
  2. Brig. Gen. W. V. Judson, Military Attaché and chief of the American Military Mission to Russia.