File No. 861.00/996

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


2255. Constituent Assembly installed. Chernov in a speech severely criticized Soviet government for not concluding peace. Tseretelli spoke counseling harmony. Bolsheviki withdrew, Social Revolutionaries continuing session until 5 a.m., when adjourned to 6 p.m., but Duma now closed and government reported as announcing that Constituent Assembly really party convention which cannot expect governmental protection nor use of Duma hall. Allied chiefs met Embassy to-day, but did nothing; adjourned to to-morrow afternoon to await developments and read Chernov’s speech. Robins confident that Chernov in touch with Mirbach,1 as is using considerable money, and no other available source known. Chernov been extremely radical, not trusted by colleagues when in Provisional Government; Constituent Convention voted down resolution approving stand of Russian peace commissioners at Brest. Trotsky expected today or to-morrow, consequently peace negotiations virtually terminated and nothing but resumption of war confronts Soviet government unless it be indefinite prolongation of armistice which French Ambassador says Germany violating by sending troops to western front. Tell Secretary of the Treasury Central Soviet Committee referred to Constituent Assembly resolutions of Commissaries repudiating all foreign loans and canceling domestic holdings exceeding Rs. 10,000, but that measure possesses more life than Assembly itself which appears moribund. Perhaps Assembly farcical, not unadulterated calamity if its peace program adopted; can tell better after reading Chernov’s speech and peace resolution which understand mentions Allies and passed hurriedly about [before] adjournment which was forced by Red Guards and sailors.

  1. Wilhelm, Count von Mirbach, German commissioner in Russia; see post, p. 409.