File No. 861.00/2790

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

[Telegram]

5. Order issued 6th for arrest of French Consul General and military attaché and all members British diplomatic mission. They were by chance in American Consulate General now “first division” of Norwegian Legation and are still enjoying asylum there on this the third day. Norwegian Attaché endeavoring arrange safe-conducts for French to Danish Consulate and British to Swedish.

Lockhart imprisoned in Kremlin since 4th, motive in part as offset for arrest Litvinov, in part charges of plotting against Soviet government. Policy of British Government respecting Litvinov seems ill-advised to every one here. Little chance of arranging departure of British and French representatives until Litvinov delivered into neutral hands. Owing to the flagrant bad faith of the Soviets during all this affair it is impossible to say whether British and French representatives will be allowed to go under any circumstances. Free departure promised for British and French private citizens except males aged 18 to 40. Other Allies may go without restriction. Italian Consul General planning to leave to-morrow [Page 668] with four hundred Italians, mostly soldiers. Portion of Bolsheviks desire put Lockhart on public trial. Some foundation of fact for charges respecting Lettish troops but none for those regarding destruction of trains and other demolitions. President of extraordinary commission has admitted privately that case was brought out prematurely without conclusive proofs in order to befog issue growing out of Cromie murder. …

Massacre of Russian citizens by Bolshevik government continues. Shootings at Moscow number about 150 nightly. More than 1,000 people have been shot in retaliation for attempt on Lenin. I have protested personally to Chicherin, pointing out that Bolshevik cause totters on verge of complete moral bankruptcy. Wardwell has written strong protest in the name of American Red Cross. But Commissariat Foreign Affairs has no control and but small influence over extraordinary commission which is carrying on the carnage. The situation is tragic beyond words, and it is difficult to see from what quarter relief may come.

Few straggling Americans being sent out this week. Andrews of Red Cross continues bedridden with a form of inflammatory rheumatism which makes it dangerous to assist [attempt] to move him. There need be no anxiety while he remains here. Slight improvement in his condition last few days.

Reliable observer returning from Kiev reports feeling in Ukraine against Germany more acute than ever. He considers new outbreak of Bolsheviks possible within near future in protest against the extreme reaction which the Germans have supported.

Poole
  1. Sent via the Consulate General at Christiania.