File No. 861.00/743½

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


2043. Have just seen British Ambassador who says has cabled for authority arrange modus vivendi with Soviet government as he expects it to be in power some time. Think has suggested that be permitted communicate with Smolny through attaché of the Embassy, not career secretary, but who speaks Russian.

Trotsky issued an order that no British passports be visaed for exit as British Embassy has not replied to Trotsky’s demand that Chicherin and Petrov, Russian Bolsheviki interned in England, be released. British Ambassador says he is giving interview in which states has forwarded all commutations [communications] received from Smolny to London and is awaiting instructions. This means all British subjects in Rumania [Russia?] are prohibited leaving, and British Ambassador much exercised thereat.

Morning papers contain address from Provisional Government concerning Constituent Assembly which convenes December 11, 2 [Page 275] p.m. Address signed by six ministers: Prokopovich, Acting Premier and Minister of Food; Malyantovich, Minister of Justice; Nikitin, Minister of the Interior and Post and Telegraph [departments]; Gvozdiev, Minister of Labor; Liverovski, Minister Ways of Communication; Maslov, Minister of Agriculture, all of whom were ministers when last revolution began; also signed by four vice ministers and two chiefs of bureau. Above ministers all free, having been released because they were socialists. Address states that Kerensky and Minister of War and Minister of Marine have resigned and the other ministers are imprisoned. The address criticizes Bolshevik government and appeals to people to support Constituent Assembly.

Election returns incomplete; reports continue that Bolsheviki will not have majority. Meantime Lenin and Trotsky administering affairs from the Smolny without opposition. Reports and general belief are to effect that if Bolsheviki have not majority of Assembly will ignore its authority or doctor returns to retain power.