File No. 861.00/1043

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


2274. Belgian Minister called last midnight. Urged me to give interview or signed statement to Russian people presenting reasons why separate peace not advisable, claiming Trotsky would refer to All-Russian Soviet meeting to-day his position in peace negotiations and Belgian Minister thought sentiment of congress so divided that required such expression from myself to prevent separate peace.

Robins, Sisson just left Embassy. Assert congress will overwhelmingly approve Trotsky action. Consequently did not mention Belgian Minister’s request. Robins, Sisson, especially former, in close relations with Smolny. Robins visits me daily, gives desired information concerning Bolshevik policies, therefore cannot refuse his requests to send cipher cables to Davison, Thompson, but trust you do not construe my sending as approval of recommendations therein. No. 22721 delivered Embassy to-day; No. 22731 delivered week ago [Page 357] and held for favorable opportunity to discuss with Robins especially clause stating “Ambassador has recommended simultaneous recognition Bolshevik, Ukrainian, Finnish present authorities as de facto government,” as he misunderstood me if so thought. In my 2208,1 establishment of working relations suggested with said governments, also with several other professed governments in Russia. Robins, Sisson claim Soviet government stronger daily, but am not fully prepared to concur as awaiting effect of dissolving Assembly which Robins says provokes no important protest. Too soon to hear from provinces about this or murderous assault in hospital.2

Vice Consul Poole arrived to-day, had interesting two-hour conference. Says sent you four cables, January 4, 10, 18.3 Have you received? My French, British colleagues, if advised of their Governments’ action as Poole reports, have denied such knowledge in replying to my direct questions. Poole discredits effects; brought letters from British, French representatives to their Embassies stating Poole viewed situation as they did but I shall not deliver letters until see British Chargé d’Affaires and French Ambassador.

Conference with only unimprisoned, unabsconded bank president to-day revealed he contemplating departure saying worst not yet experienced but Soviet government will be supplanted by anarchistic domination. You can see therefore difficulties confronting Russia and your Ambassador.

No anarchistic intelligence to-day. Marine couriers guarding tonight. MacVickar and Christy arrived to-day.

  1. Not printed; they were messages delivered by Robins to the Embassy to the sent forward.
  2. Not printed; they were messages delivered by Robins to the Embassy to the sent forward.
  3. Dated Jan. 8, vol. ii, chap. vi.
  4. See footnote 2, ante, p. 354.
  5. Not printed. See despatch No. 1036 of Jan. 24/Feb. 6, 1918, from the Ambassador in Russia, vol. ii, chap. iii.