File No. 861.00/1230

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


Just received your unnumbered telegram February 25, 4 p.m., forwarded by Norwegian Legation. Arrived yesterday with Japanese, Chinese, Siamese, Brazilian chiefs at Vologda leaving Petrograd February 27, 2 a.m., not 23d as your cable indicates. My cables from 22d to 26th gave conditions and plans.

Vologda 350 miles from Petrograd is decidedly best location now having direct temporary connection with Petrograd, Moscow, Archangel, Vladivostok and indirectly with Murman. Soviet here helpful by Lenin’s instructions; living in special train near station and having service wire to Petrograd.

Almost entire staff, also Robins, Sisson and majority of colleagues, urged leaving several days before departure. Robins and staff, except Thacher and Wardwell, in Red Cross car with me having left Stevens, agent of National City, to look after supplies distribution.

Awaiting developments Vologda. Reports concerning German advance contradictory. Japanese colleague solicitous lest Germans cut line to Harbin and he may go east to-morrow possibly accompanied by Chinese Minister. Siamese and Brazilian chiefs remaining with me and request you so advise their Governments. Think decidedly unwise for me quit Russia as have cabled several times; reported remainder of Allied chiefs gone Helsingfors.

Persecuted Russian officers, bourgeoisie, whose property confiscated, naturally welcome Germans whose advance resisted only by Bolsheviks who are not unanimous on the subject, Lenin advocating non-resistance, Trotsky ominously quiet. If Soviet overthrown which highly probable Allies should cultivate new government to prevent its alliance with Germany.

Your instructions concerning staff and archives executed before I left and you advised. First special which left the 24th with twenty-three of Embassy’s staff and thirty my colleagues, including six Y.M.C.A., three Y.W.C.A., also Japanese, Chinese nationals and staff members have continued eastward but American staff ordered remain on train at Perm for orders.