File No. 861.00/2599

The Chargé in Sweden ( Whitehouse) to the Secretary of State


2734. Have received to-day three telegrams from Consul General at Moscow. In the first he inquires whether I have asked for a free passage through Finland for Americans and if not, to do so, and whether I have received any instructions for him from the Department. He further states he has received no telegram from you since No. 76 except No. 1161 by wireless which he can not decipher as he has destroyed the code.

In his second telegram dated August 17 he states that he presumes I am receiving regular reports through Swedish Foreign Office and am informing the Department; that he is doing everything possible to arrange to leave either to the north or to the east so that the Consulate General may remain on Russian territory. But the Bolshevik [Page 661] government insists [that] departure by Petrograd [and] Stockholm seems the only possibility. He hopes that a decision will be come to as soon as possible for his work is stopped and the numerous personnel of the Consulate General must be transferred to northern Russia or Siberia without delay. Up to the present American private citizens have not been molested and he is trying to arrange for their departure but is having difficulty and requests my help to arrange matters with the Finnish authorities. Montesanto1 is at Vladikavkaz watching events in the Caucasus, but he is not in communication with him at present.

His third telegram dated August 26 is as follows:

Thanks to the efforts of the Swedish Consul General, train has been obtained this evening for Petrograd for American officials and citizens except myself who am remaining to give moral support to my English and French colleagues detained by the Soviet. In spite of telegram to Swedish Legation, Finnish government has not yet granted and guaranteed free passage to Americans, Belgians, Italians and Japanese. Please do everything possible to obtain immediately desired permissions. Situation becomes more and more difficult. Every day lost may have grave consequences.

Swedish Consul General telegraphs on August 27 that a special train left the previous evening for Petrograd with Italian Military Mission, 71 persons, Belgian Consul and personnel of American Consulate General except Poole and all the personnel of the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. as well as of the American bank and private citizens, in all 95 Americans. Some Italian citizens were following that day. All passports have been visaed to leave Russia, and Finnish permission will be awaited at Petrograd. American interests confided to the [Norwegian] Legation in the person of an attaché of this Legation who arrived 26th from Petrograd.

Have immediately telegraphed the Consul at Helsingfors to make urgent request of Finnish authorities to grant safe passage and am informally requesting same of Finnish Chargé d’Affaires here.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Isaiah Montesanto, U. S. Vice Consul at Trebizond.