File No. 861.00/356

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


1270. No reply to my 1253, May 5, 7 p.m.1 Thomas, acting French Ambassador here, tells me he advised his Government to reply to Provisional Government’s note of May 32 reiterating statement of April 10 [9] giving ends of war and thinks President Wilson, whom he considers most powerful influence in the world to-day, should also make reply. I concur because workmen’s committee using “peace without victory” and other expressions in the President’s address to Senate of January 22 to justify their advocacy of peace. They do not wish separate peace but desire proletariat of belligerent countries to conclude peace “without annexation or contribution” claiming such is President’s position. Provisional Government contends that wrong construction is being placed on President’s utterances and believes as I do that noble ends for which he is, striving can only be [obtained?] by decisive victory over Germany. I am persistently calling attention to prompt action of Congress and liberal subscription to loan as evidence that we mean prosecution of war to victorious ending. Workmen furthermore maintain that existing arrangements between Allies were effected on the part of Russia by Government which no longer exists. Thomas suggested conference between representatives here of Allied Governments for joint reply to Provisional Government but I discouraged same in absence of definite understanding between ourselves and other countries fighting Germany as such conferences likely to open discussion concerning Dardanelles and possibly Panama Canal to say nothing of problems involving annexation, restitution of territory, and indemnification. Believes reply to Minister for Foreign Affairs from President or yourself would greatly clarify situation.

  1. Ante, p. 41.
  2. Ante, p. 38.