File No. 861.00/1959

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


2. Arrived Petrograd 6 last evening, immediately took down Norwegian flag replacing with ours which now floating. Petrograd dead, city famine stricken. Daily bread allowance equivalent to 18/10 ounces, quality horrible, dear at any price; potatoes 9/20 of pound per week. Philip bought from peasant in Vologda 3 poods of flour at Es. 250 a pood, equivalent about $125 a barrel, for our own use, which Petrograd dealer attempted to purchase unsuccessfully at Rs. 600 per pood, or about $250 a barrel. Reported babies dying hundred per week, people all looking underfed.

Many arrests Moscow, Kishkin among them; railroad engineer here on my request; says hospital manager reported hundred bodies brought his hospital killed and faces mutilated to destroy identity but nothing thereof in newspapers.

Engineer has served six weeks as manager transportation with approval of engineers’ society to which appointment was submitted when tendered and accepted through honest desire to serve Russia; he has, however, resigned because says impossible to operate railroads under Soviet government which absolutely dominated by demagogues, says in fact no government but dictatorship of Lenin, and all patriotic people, including uneducated who think, are opposed to Bolsheviks and will supplant present government by one dominated by Germany if Allies do not immediately intervene. Engineer says government refuses to accept his resignation and has granted him two months’ leave but he will not return to its service. I am holding him until arrival of Emerson from whom have heard nothing since left Vladivostok. He is probably detained by Soviet troops who are reported controlling Siberian Railway east of Perm.

I suggest delaying reply to request in my No. 1, June 5, 5 p.m., especially if inclined to make favorable reply which I do not anticipate.