File No. 861.00/327

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


1211. Extreme socialist or anarchist named Lenin making violent speeches and thereby strengthening Government; designedly giving him leeway and will deport opportunely. Government reports to me personally in connection with negotiation for loan that discipline of army constantly improving. Sixty-three generals have been dismissed for inefficiency, not for sympathy with previous régime. This action by the Chief of Staff with approval of Ministry. Every discharged officer replaced by another younger and more capable, and army assured that promotion hereafter be for merit, not favoritism. Some promotions conferred officers close to Tsar whose [Page 28] cause they abandoned only after abdication. These statements made to me personally after my saying would recommend no loan without reliable assurance of no separate peace and pledge of government for vigorous prosecution of the war. Some Americans anxious about reported German advance on Petrograd but Ministry reassuring against such advance if attempted. Very important, however, that congestion at Vladivostok and on Siberian Railway be relieved by prompt shipment of railroad equipment and arrival of strong experienced manager. Situation offers excellent opportunity which our ablest managers should be ambitious to embrace. British Ambassador tells me unofficially that he recommends Russian Government to give us control at Vladivostok and of entire Siberian Railway. English have control at Archangel.