File No. 861.00/3249

The Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin ) to the Secretary of State


3859. Tour 2648, November 6, 5 p.m. Very serious consideration is being given to this subject by British Government. The policy to be adopted has not yet been formulated in full detail, but certain measures have already been taken and are in operation at present, such as those providing for the continuance of employment and remuneration of labor from war industries and discharged soldiers. A careful watch is being maintained for such Bolshevik propaganda literature as may reach this country from abroad, in order that it may be intercepted and destroyed, and the same measures are being taken wherever possible in respect to inflammatory literature secretly printed at home. Counter-propaganda is meanwhile being conducted through the unostentatious distribution of pamphlets designed to educate the people as to the true significance of Bolshevism, and appropriate articles appear in the Sunday papers customarily read by the workingmen. This method is considered much more advisable than any attempt at conspicuous counter-propaganda. Financial institutes are working in cooperation to restrict the circulation of Bolshevik funds if any. It is expected in the near future that the King will visit the large industrial centers and speak to the shop stewards along carefully prepared lines, that the policy will be followed in the future of extending the appeal of the throne as far as possible among the laboring classes. Visits are also being arranged for the Prince of Wales to large munition factories where women workers are employed, in order that his undoubted popularity may are made use of and act as a check to the spread of anarchistic tendencies.

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Apart from certain centers, notably the Clyde and South Wales, Bolshevism, as such, is innocuous for the present. The best-informed official opinion is that with care and diligence the spread of Bolshevism in this country may be effectually checked, at least for the next six months. Further sounder advances are meanwhile being devised to meet such contingencies as may develop later on.

A full report of Bolshevik activities in the United Kingdom will go forward by the next pouch. I shall telegraph the Foreign Office reply to my inquiries as soon as it is received.