File No. 861.00/1262

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


Robins arrived midnight reports that from Petrograd after important conference with Trotsky on 5th he wired me in Military Mission cipher result of conference but military attaché had left for Petrograd, as you were advised, with code, consequently did not learn of conference until Robins arrived hour ago. Since Robins left Petrograd, Moscow and St. Petersburg Soviets have instructed their delegates to All-Russian Conference of March 12 to support ratification. Such action I fear is the result of threatened Japanese invasion of Siberia which I have anticipated by sending Wright eastward. Trotsky told Robins had heard such invasion countenanced by Allies especially America and it would not only force government to advocate ratification of humiliating peace but would so completely estrange all factions in Russia that further resistance to Germany would be absolutely impossible. Trotsky furthermore asserted that neither his government nor Russian people would object to America’s supervising all shipments from Vladivostok into [Page 395] Russia and virtually controlling operation of Siberian Railway but Japanese invasion would result in non-resistance and eventually make Russia a German province. In my opinion Japanese advance now exceedingly unwise and this midnight cable sent for purpose of asking that our influence be exerted to prevent same. Please reply immediately. (More to-morrow.)