File No. 861.00/2642

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador ( Jusserand)

Excellency: I have the honor to enclose herewith the text of a telegram which has been sent by this Department to all American diplomatic representatives in the neutral and Allied countries. This Government feels that it can not be silent or refrain from expressing its horror at the state of terrorism which exists in Russia and which is resulting in the daily execution, without even a form of trial, of innocent Russians who are the victims of irresponsible bands venting the brutal desperation of their declining power.

In enclosing to your excellency the text of this telegram I wish to refer to the notes which you addressed to me under date of August 291 and September 2,1 in which you advised me of the action taken by the Government of the French Republic in regard to the situation of Allied representatives and citizens in Russia, and believe that your Government and the Government of the United States share the same views as to the character of the illegal and unwarranted course of procedure of the Bolshevik authorities towards foreign representatives in Moscow and Petrograd. Since receiving your notes, [Page 690] however, this Government has received official reports showing that while foreigners had been detained contrary to all international procedure, the lives of innocent Russians were being sacrificed daily under conditions which constituted a reign of terror. In these circumstances it has seemed to the Government of the United States, while appreciating the danger of its own and of foreign representatives and citizens, and regarding as wholly reprehensible their treatment by the existing authorities, incumbent upon it to undertake some expression of the abhorrence it feels for the brutal and lawless execution of thousands of innocent Russians without any recourse to justice.

I believe that your Government and the Government of the United States have the same purpose in view, namely to mitigate conditions of absolute lawlessness and terror which now prevail in parts of Russia.

I am glad to improve this opportunity to convey to you the views of this Government and the action which it has determined to take, and am confident that the Government of the French Republic will agree that some such expression of feeling is not only requisite but also affords the only means now available to mitigate the conditions of lawlessness and terror which prevail in parts of Russia.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.