File No. 861.00/1797

The Consul General at Moscow ( Summers) to the Secretary of State


439. … Following is translation of radiogram addressed to French Government, Paris, April 27, by Commissar Foreign Affairs:

On April 23 the following statement by your Ambassador Noulens was reported in the Moscow press. …2 Having asked Noulens [Page 510] as to the correctness of this statement we have received an official confirmation of it through Labonne, the Consul at Moscow. In the serious days through which Russia is now living Noulens’s statements can hardly lead to friendly relations between the Russian and French people. A representative of the French Government who helps to prejudice relations between France and Russia cannot be tolerated within the Russian Republic. The government of the Russian Federated Socialistic Soviet Republic expresses its certainty that Noulens will be immediately recalled by the Government of the French Republic. Chicherin.

  1. Printed in full, vol. ii, chap. i.
  2. The following is a translation of the statement made by the French Ambassador, which appeared in the Moscow Izvestia Apr. 28, 1918, together with the above-mentioned radiogram:

    The landing of the Japanese in Vladivostok was the result of long-continued troubles and disturbances in that city. Sooner or later an incident was bound to arise, as the result of which armed intervention would be necessary for the purpose of providing for the safety of foreigners. For many months, the information which we received from Vladivostok indicated a condition of anarchy continually threatening the lives and property of subjects of the Allied states. When international relations attract foreign merchants to any territory and, especially, to coastal cities, to the profit of the whole country, the authorities governing it must understand that they are thereby placed under the obligation of maintaining public order and protecting their guests from street disturbances. In the contrary case, the persons concerned apply to their governments for that protection which the local authorities, too weak or incompetent, are not in position to guarantee. Then the military forces of that country, the subjects of which are exposed to violence, must assume the restoration of order. And this is just, because a country can not be really independent, without a strong, organized government authority. The Japanese question, so far as it is Japanese, can be localized in Vladivostok, on condition that there be given to the Tokyo Government the satisfaction which it has the right to demand.

    However, the Allies cannot assume an indifferent attitude toward the advance of the Austro-Germans in the north, as well as in the south, towards an advance extending far beyond the limits which it was possible to foresee after the Brest treaty. The Germanic states are, in fact, endeavoring to conquer all Russia economically. Furthermore, they are endeavoring, by means of their prisoners, to organize colonization centers in Siberia. The Allies may be obliged to intervene in order to meet this threat directed both against the Russian people and against them. But if, at any time, the Allies are obliged to resort to military operations, they will act exclusively in the capacity of allies, who are not intervening in the internal affairs of Russia, who are without any ulterior motives with regard to any kind of conquest, and desire only to protect the general interest in full accord with Russian public opinion, and they will forcibly oppose German seizure of eastern Europe. I have no data of any kind with respect to the intention of the governments as to this question, but, in any event, I can say that if there should be armed intervention, and it should be necessary that it take place in Siberia, it will have an international and distinctly friendly character.