File No. 861.00/3110a

The Secretary of State to the British Chargé ( Barclay)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Great Britain and has the honor to enclose herewith the text of a circular telegram sent to all American diplomatic missions in the Allied and neutral countries under date of September 20.1

The Secretary of State takes this opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum from the British Embassy, No. 986, dated September 6, 1918,2 and to express the feeling of horror with which the Government of the United States learned of the death of Captain Cromie as a result of the unwarrantable violation of the British Embassy at Petrograd contrary to all regard for the firmly established rights and practices of international law. The Government of the United States has not failed also to appreciate the danger which has attended the unlawful arrest of British representatives and subjects at Moscow. As the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim is doubtless aware, the acting American Consul General, Mr. Poole, while he has transferred his official functions to neutral representatives, has nevertheless remained in Moscow, giving moral support to his French and British colleagues detained there by the Bolshevik authorities. Mr. Poole appears to have been unmolested as yet but the Secretary [Page 689] of State desires to improve this opportunity to assure the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim that the attitude of Mr. Poole correctly reflects the position that this Government desires to assume wherever practicable.

In the meanwhile the Secretary of State has received official reports which indicate not only the detention of Allied representatives and citizens but the actual execution of thousands of innocent Russians, without any regard to justice whatever, by irresponsible bands venting the desperation of their declining power.

The Government of the United States, in the interest of Russian people themselves, can not remain silent or refrain from expressing its horror at such a state of terrorism. Furthermore it believes that, in order successfully to check the further increase of this indiscriminate slaughter, all civilized nations should register their abhorrence of such barbarism. It believes that the Government of Great Britain will agree that some such expression of feeling is not only requisite but also affords the most effective means now available to mitigate the lawless and terrible conditions prevailing in parts of Russia.

  1. Supra.
  2. Ante, p. 665.