File No. 861.00/2706

The Consul at Moscow ( Poole) to the Secretary of State 1


1 (new series). Minister of the Netherlands, Oudendijk, arrived Moscow August 31 to negotiate directly with Bolshevik government respecting departure of Allied representatives, and release of nationals held as hostages. He warned Commissar for Foreign Affairs that present lawless course can not be continued with impunity. In replying, Commissar referred to the hesitating policy of the United States in Russia. Being informed by the Minister of this fact, I ventured the following oral and entirely informal observations.

By its present lawlessness the Bolshevik government has adopted the most sure means of ending whatever hesitation may still exist [Page 663] at Washington. After long hesitation, the United States regretfully entered the war against Germany for the sole purpose of maintaining international law. The United States has waited long and patiently before determining upon an active policy in Russia. If the Bolshevik government continues unlawful detention and molestation of Allied nationals and representatives the United States may feel once more the obligation of forcibly supporting public law and morality. Speaking personally and quite without instructions I can not doubt that the American people will, in the end, proceed against a treacherous [tyrannical?] and persistently lawless government in central Russia no less vigorously than they are now proceeding without delay against a government of the same sort in Germany.

  1. Sent via the Consulate General at Christiania.