File No. 861.00/1029

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

[Telegram]

2292. Robins, who informed me yesterday morning of Trotsky’s hasty departure for Brest, told me 11 last night that Trotsky had sent for him night before to tell him thereof and to ask whether knew what our Government would do about his recognition and on receiving negative reply inquired whether Ambassador knew. Robins replied thought not but would ask. I told him I had no instructions concerning recognition and was satisfied Government would not act [Page 359]other than in concert with Allies. Robins telephoned to-day that Trotsky had returned, consequently I doubt whether he started; possibly this was scheme to force our hand. Trotsky billed for speech in Congress to-night on peace negotiation.

Apparently repudiation national debt not absolutely decreed. Was recommended by Council of Commissaries to central committee which referred it to Constituent Assembly by which was rejected; was submitted in declaration of Soviet principles to All-Russian Congress which enthusiastically adopted entire declaration. Assistant Commissary Foreign Affairs now says repudiation is a law “but its enforcement in hands of Council of Commissaries”; this evidently means that commissaries authorized to withhold enforcement of law if creditors recognize Soviet government and extend further assistance.

Loss of our advances to Russia immaterial compared with defeat of Germany but very questionable whether can afford to recognize government which wilfully repudiates predecessors’ obligations. Furthermore credit extended by us small when compared with that of our Allies.

Bolshevik organs contain accounts of great social unrest and strikes in Austria and threatenings of same character in England. Report received that Austrian Emperor abdicated but not confirmed and not published. Have you received such information? Soviet leaders, as have often cabled, striving for world-wide social revolution and would sacrifice any government or any country therefor.

Francis