File No. 861.00/1401

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


French and Italian Embassies, Serbian Legation arrived, purpose remaining indefinitely. Three chiefs criticizing severely British Embassy for going through Finnish battle lines without waiting other missions, when was understanding that all go together; probably misunderstanding. Missions seeking domiciles after month on special train. Robins again wires Minister of Foreign Affairs asks formally for appointment by us of one representative in each of six commissions to settle Rumanian-Russian affairs, said commissions sitting in Petrograd, Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, Jassy, and Galatz; suppose same request made British and French. If Department desires to comply, suggest members American-Rumanian Military Mission, but can not see consistency therein if diplomatic relations with Rumania severed, as Russian Government not recognized.

Moscow press prints to-day: “American Consul informed Supreme Economic Council that American Government agrees to resume commercial and industrial relations with Russia, regardless of repudiation of debts.” Suppose Department authorized such statement, if made. Summers and Robins disagree and are mutually critical.

Answering your 25, concerning railway men,1 certainly Government would be [ready to] guarantee same not be used in German interest, whether German agent or not, tout willing myself to assume responsibility, consequently request they be sent Vologda where could not arrive before April 15. Duties not specified, as Government ignorant concerning defects and remedies. Transportation situation deplorable, while Russia and the Allies consider railroads our special care. Men likely to be needed to save supplies from [Page 489] German capture if German advance resumed and Moscow captured, which not improbable. Furthermore, I consider exceedingly advisable to increase capacity of Siberian Railway for emergencies. Expenses and compensation could doubtless be arranged if thought desirable.

  1. Dated Mar. 26, vol. iii, chap. iv.