File No. 763.72/2367

The Consul at Moscow ( Poole ) to the Secretary of State 2


711. The food question is more acute and, in the view of the Consulate General, the success or failure of Germany in Russia, and therefore possibly in the whole war, may depend upon its solution. Without the Siberian grain stores Russia maybe self-supporting after the next harvest. Favorable weather conditions are tending to offset reduced acre plantation. But it is improbable that Germany can appropriate all of Russia’s grain to Russia’s own use as public opinion in the Central Empires will demand heavy shipments thither. I have conferred on this subject with the representatives of … [an American corporation] here, and they agree that, as the Russian [Page 576] crop will not suffice for both Germany and Russia, the key to the food situation, which is in turn the key to German success or failure in Russia, is the stored grain of western Siberia. I therefore bring again most earnestly to the Department’s attention the pressing need for immediate intervention in Siberia for the purpose supporting the Czecho-Slovaks and the new Siberian government and at the same time withholding Siberian grain from German use. If the new front can be drawn along a line running Harbin [from] Murman Peninsula southeastward [to the] Kama so as to include Vyatka and if possible Vologda, thence southward along the line of the Kama and Volga to Samara, whence operations may later be projected toward the Kuban as far as military considerations may admit, a German enterprise in central Russia of the kind indicated above may be changed from the means of enabling Germany to dominate Europe and the entire Eastern Hemisphere into an attribution [a disadvantage] eventuating in a collapse on the western front. Please refer to my 6831 regarding the desirableness of having an under-fed German Russia beside a well-fed Allied Russia and to my No. 7002 regarding the humanitarian considerations involved.

  1. Sent via the Legation in Sweden; other copies sent via the Embassy in France, by wireless July 24, and via the Consulate at Petrograd and the Legation in Norway August 11 (File Nos. 861.00/2356, 2454).
  2. Dated June 30, vol. ii , chap. i.
  3. Dated July 6, vol. iii , chap. iii.