File No. 861.00/1416

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

[Telegram]

52. Think shall approve Wright’s taking leave offered him in December after reports fully. I have established direct communication with Peking, Tokyo as instructed.

[Page 491]

French, Italian, Serbian chiefs lunched Embassy yesterday. Arranged daily meeting with French, Italian Ambassadors at the Embassy inviting other chiefs when advisable; both oppose supporting Soviet except on stipulated satisfactory conditions. We have instructed our military attaches at Moscow to come here for report as appears Russian officers recalled as instructors while subordinate officers new army still elected by soldiers. Such army unreliable for German resistance with success. New Minister of War constantly hedging both ways, but another incident like German protest against my declaration will force Soviet to take stand which I am endeavoring to bring about. French, Italian Ambassadors think first step should be demand on Soviet that it cease to attack Allies and rescind loan repudiation decree but I think such demands should be postponed for present. If convincing evidence of German control manifested, would advise immediately appealing to Russian people and sending British, French, American, Japanese, and Chinese [troops] into Russia. Serbian troops who contemplated going to America are leaving by Archangel and eastern routes for Saloniki. I requested Robins to tell Minister of War such troops should be held here if resistance intended but Minister of War replied that French and Serbians insisted on troops leaving which French Ambassador, Serbian Minister yesterday denied and said would have remained with Russian troops if latter induced to teach [fight]. Serbian Minister says Soviet facilitating troops’ prompt departure; claims troops aggregate 250,000 and says furthermore enlisting office opened Moscow and many Czech prisoners of war enlisting to fight Central Empires. Robins wires to-day advising my coming Moscow for more thorough cooperation with Soviet government but I have no such intention.

Keeping eye on Siberia to save from German clutches. Purpose going Irkutsk if unsafe here or if Soviet yields to German demand concerning my declaration and request my departure; if unsafe there, shall proceed Vladivostok or Harbin unless you order otherwise.

Francis