File No. 861.00/1087

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 167

Memorandum

The British Embassy have received instructions to inform the Department of State that instructions have been sent to the British Minister at Jassy to explain to the Rumanian Government the attitude which the British Government have adopted in dealing with the Bolsheviki government at Petrograd.

The British Minister was informed in these instructions that while it was not at present possible to grant complete recognition to the Bolsheviki government it would be most undesirable to risk a complete rupture with them. So long as it was quite clear that the relations [Page 379]between the British Government and the Bolsheviki authorities were perfectly informal and unofficial there seemed to be no grounds why Mr. Lockhart should not carry on negotiations as the recognized representative of the British Embassy at Petrograd, and he was therefore being appointed in this capacity. The British Government would in this way be entering into relations with the de facto Bolsheviki government at Petrograd in exactly the same way as they had done with the de facto governments in the Ukraine, Finland, and elsewhere.

The British Minister was further instructed to explain to the Rumanian authorities that in taking this step the British Government had been largely influenced by their hope and belief that they would through a regular intermediary be able to exercise more influence with the Bolsheviki authorities and thus to help Rumania by improving the relations between Rumania and Russia and by protecting Rumanian interests generally. Rumania would also clearly benefit by any steps which might result in preventing or postponing the conclusion of a separate peace between Germany and the Bolsheviki government.