File No. 861.00/2778a

The Secretary of State to all American Diplomatic Missions

[Circular telegram]

This Government is in receipt of information from reliable sources revealing that the peaceable Russian citizens of Moscow, Petrograd and other cities are suffering from an openly avowed campaign of mass terrorism and are subject to wholesale executions. Thousands of persons have been shot without even a form of trial; ill-administered prisons are filled beyond capacity and every night scores of Russian citizens are recklessly put to death; and irresponsible bands are venting their brutal passions in the daily massacre of untold innocents.

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In view of the earnest desire of the people of the United States to befriend the Russian people and lend them all possible assistance in their struggle to reconstruct their nation upon principles of democracy and self-government and acting therefore solely in the interest of the Russian people themselves, this Government feels that it cannot be silent or refrain from expressing its horror at this existing state of terrorism. Furthermore, it believes that in order successfully to check the further increase of the indiscriminate slaughter of Russian citizens all civilized nations should register their abhorrence of such barbarism.

You will inquire, therefore, whether the Government to which you are accredited will be disposed to take some immediate action, which is entirely divorced from the atmosphere of belligerency and the conduct of war, to impress upon the perpetrators of these crimes the aversion with which civilization regards their present wanton acts.