File No. 861.00/275

The Minister in Sweden ( Morris ) to the Secretary of State


224. In case telegraphic communication is interrupted with Petrograd owing to revolution I am cabling following which appears as an official statement of Russian telegram bureau which it is stated has been taken over by the committee of the Duma and which article appears in newspapers here as coming from official Swedish telegram bureau:

People in Petrograd enraged by complete lack of organization of transportation and food distribution and disturbed for a long time have secretly grumbled against the Government which they blame for their sufferings. Government foreseeing disturbance took extensive measures to keep order. It ordered disbanding of Imperial Council and Duma but Duma decided on March 11 not obey instructions Imperial decree. They continued in session and appointed Executive Committee consisting of twelve members with Rodzyanko, president Duma, as chairman. This committee proclaimed itself the Provisional Government and sent out following proclamation:

Because of inner disorganization caused by policy of old Government Executive Committee has found it necessary to take upon itself task keeping order. Fully aware of its decision committee convinced that people and army will help in difficult task of forming new Government which can fulfil wishes of the people and gain their confidence.

Supported by the people Executive Committee has caused revolution in the capital. Garrison in Petrograd consisting of over thirty thousand men has joined revolutionary party; has arrested and imprisoned all Ministers. Duma has declared that the Cabinet does not exist. To-day, the third day of revolution, order has been quietly restored in Petrograd. Capital is in hands Duma Executive Committee supported by the troops. Deputy Englehardt, colonel in General Staff, has been appointed commandant in Petrograd. Last night Executive Committee sent appeal to population, troops, railways, banks, requesting them return to normal life.

[Page 3]

Stockholm papers this afternoon report murder of Protopopov and Sturmer.1

Shall I continue cabling important press items concerning Russia?

  1. This report proved later to be untrue, see post, p. 161. Protopopov was Minister of the Interior at the time of the abdication of the Tsar; Sturmer had been Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1916.