File No. 861.00/1282

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


6. Military attaché returned after satisfactory conference with Trotsky and Russian Chief of Staff. No definite program adopted but Trotsky talked as if war unavoidable and said that it should have support of Allies, but was evidently quite sensitive concerning Allied forces entering Russia without approval of de facto government, especially Japanese, who were then reported about entering Siberia. Trotsky said that intended to accept and encourage cooperation of Russian officers and was proceeding to organize army of million men “under iron discipline,” which exceedingly encouraging for resistance to Germans. Such resistance may be futile and may not possibly become organized, but this is unquestionably sole reliance, as it is the only effort being made. I am not sanguine but not hopeless, and military attaché feels likewise. I am encouraging by interviews and speeches, patriotic resistance to invasion, and sending home every staff member who is unnecessarily or timidly despairing.

Military attaché wiring Martin that he and I approve of his entering conference at Murman and desire him to continue to confer and keep me advised.

Press dispatches from London indicate that Allies, except America, were inclined to permit if not encourage Japanese invasion but we demurred and demanded consent of Russian authorities. Another dispatch from Tokyo states specifically no Japanese occupation or invasion planned or contemplated without Allied approval. Consequently tension somewhat relieved, but reassuring advices from you on this behalf would improve or clarify situation. Conference [Congress] postponed to 14th.

[ Francis]