File No. 708.72119/987

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


2061. Inform Mott:1

Enormous agitation by newspaper cartoons, pictures done freely and openly by Germans among Russian troops. Most agitation directed against England, France, and Italy because insinuated that they want territorial gains from war. Publications tell Russian soldiers not to fear separate peace for Japan will not attack. Russian soldiers believe Allies wish territorial conquest. Publication of Italian treaty supports belief. Immediate statement by Allies of willingness to make peace without annexations and punitive indemnities would help tremendously if made before Constituent Assembly December 11. If possible for the sake of Russia and democracy real effort toward general peace should be made. Russia wants detailed terms of peace. Have just forwarded to President through Ambassador request of Russian volunteers and death battalions for such statement. Represents directly 20,000 soldiers and probably shared by Cossacks numbering 200,000 and by millions of private Russian citizens. Immediate action should be taken by the Government. Food and clothing Russian soldiers getting most critical. Northern and western armies already disloyal and have practically made peace and the remaining armies strongly favor peace. If Russia makes separate peace Association should stay in Russia. If Germans gain absolute control Russia will be costly for Allies. If Association remains here believe we can be greatest help to Russia, United States and the world. Please authorize this action immediately. In sending men to Russia emphasize permanent work rather than war work. Jerome Davis.2

  1. John R. Mott, general secretary of the International Committee of Young Men’s Christian Associations.
  2. Acting head in Russia of the American Y.M.C.A.