File No. 861.00/1039

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


1423. Have just had conference with Italian Chargé d’Affaires at St. Petersburg who arrived in Stockholm to-day. He reports that conditions in Russia are appalling and are getting constantly and rapidly worse. Long lines form before all shops which have food for sale. People are already suffering severely from lack of food. Italian Embassy Petrograd has been ransacked and looted by Bolsheviks, two of their servants receiving severe bayonet wounds. Threats of violence have been made against the American Ambassador but had not been carried out when he left. Only 150 rubles a week may be drawn from the banks by one person. People with large houses have been informed that they must be prepared to dispose of all but three rooms, this being maximum number allowed to a family. Italian Chargé d’Affaires informed me that, before he [Page 363] left, the Government had discontinued practice of supplying food to the various embassies and legations.

I learn by telephone from Haparanda this morning that there is still no railway or telegraph communication between Tornea and St. Petersburg.