File No. 861.00/763

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


2057. Judson’s visit to Trotsky exciting comment, especially among Allied missions who consider it step toward recognition. Judson has insisted for some time that Soviet is de facto government and relations therewith should be established. After discussing matter with Allied colleagues as reported in 2050, December 1, 9 p.m., I consented that Judson should send subordinate to discuss armistice provisions only and was not aware that Judson had gone himself until after visit made. He reported to me had stated in the beginning to Trotsky that visit personal, not official, and that had talked about conditions and requirements armistice only, that Trotsky when asked whether desired to discuss Kerth protest or Judson letter of recall Trotsky replied negatively. Following is account of visit published in Soviet official organ to-day evidently from Trotsky:

Yesterday, December 1 [/November 18], General Judson, chief of the American Military Mission, visited Comrade Trotsky in Smolny. General Judson informed Comrade Trotsky that at present he has no opportunity of speaking in the name of the American Government since recognition of Soviet authority is not yet an accomplished fact, but he appeared for the purpose of establishing relations, elucidate certain circumstances and dispel misunderstandings. General Judson inquired whether the new government is seeking to terminate the war jointly with the Allies, which according to the words of the General can hardly participate in the negotiations taking place on December 2. Comrade Trotsky in short words explained to the General the policies of the Soviet government in the matter of a struggle for general peace. The paramount circumstance which the People’s Commissaire specially emphasized is the fact that all negotiations will be openly conducted. The Allies will be able to follow the progress of the negotiations and can therefore join the Russians at any later stage of the proceedings.

General Judson asked for permission to cable this information to his Government and in conclusion stated that “the time for protests and threats addressed to the Soviet authority is over, if it ever existed.” The General asked whether the People’s Commissaire insists [Page 283] upon explanations on the subjects of various incidents that have taken place (statements of protest of members of the American Military Mission). Comrade Trotsky stated that the formal side of the matter is not interesting and the incident may be considered closed with the General’s statement that the time for threats and protests is over.

Judson has just shown me above translation from his office. Told by me that should not have said “time for threats and protests is over”; says statement incorrect but not as much so as feared.