Filre No. 861.00/1341

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


22. Your telegram March 15, 7 p.m.,1 garbled almost unintelligible. Caldwell2 wires 18th Japanese occupation there unlikely just now.

Moser wires 16th that Moran3 who was not aware correspondence, reports from … [Soviet officer,] military camp, Irkutsk, whom Moran must know well, that prisoners being armed, organized under German officers by order from Petrograd, which significant if true. I wired Huntington and Consul, Irkutsk, for report. Robins, Moscow, says Trotsky requests American military officer accompany Russian to Siberia to ascertain truth of the report; Robins sending Webster with Hicks, British officer.

Trotsky requests five American officers as inspectors of army being organized for defense also requests railroad operating men and equipment. Riggs conferring with Trotsky on these subjects at Moscow to-day where are some British, French officers. Highly important we know for what such army be used.

Reported German commission soon control Petrograd to insure compliance with peace treaty but Robins, with whom communicated over direct wire, says report baseless. Red Guard disarmed Russian regiment Petrograd yesterday formerly crack organization.

  1. Not printed in full, see ante p. 401; summarizes information received on conditions in other parts of Russia.
  2. John K. Caldwell, Consul at Vladivostok.
  3. Hugh Moran, representative of the Y. M. C. A. in Siberia.