File No. 861.00/1820
The Consul General at Moscow ( Summers ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 18, 1.21 p.m.]
452. German agents taking advantage depreciation exchange, low prices, and guarantees peace treaty purchase controlling interests, factories, banks, and other business enterprises also land and government securities. In communication from Commissary Foreign Affairs to Greek Consul regarding claim for damages for nationalization large factory Greek subject it was stated: “No such compensation [Page 515] as the Central powers above secured for themselves on the basis of the Brest treaty” would be admitted. On same basis compensation financial and other losses will be granted only to subjects Central powers. German firms closed beginning war being reopened. Representative German mission stated to press:
Berlin had been advised impossible consider commercial relations Russia until order established. Germany indirectly sent Ukraine 150,000,000 marks, arms and machines. Counts on Russian goods and will assist any movement which will stop anarchy and will do all possible establish order in country. Russian merchants desire trade with Germany but fear they will be shot.
This bears out reports observers Consulate General that no shipments being made Germany at present from unoccupied sections and that no goods are coming from Germany. In Ukraine Central powers experiencing greatest difficulty forcing peasants sell grain, and serious uprisings reported many places. Complete demoralization railways will greatly hinder movements freight even if commercial relations be reopened. Observers from occupied sections report Germans confiscating goods every nature leaving population in most distressing condition. Reports shrinkages food supplies recently held Moscow show hunger and disease consequent thereto generally prevalent over Russia. In Moscow bread ration one-eighth pound daily. Land planted this year 50 per cent less than last owing political unrest and lack seed.
Approximately 350,000 workmen unemployed and early closing cotton mills will add another 100,000. Notwithstanding unprecedented issue paper money and forced contributions there is a continued currency famine and State Bank rarely opens. Occupation Ukraine by Germans reducing Russia to famine.