File No. 763.72/4002

The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis) to the Secretary of State


1202. Your 1315 received 17th. Milyukov, who talks to me with great freedom, says no objection to matter suggested nor any objection to element mentioned in last paragraph, and that either kind of such element equally acceptable. Following is my personal view on this subject:

Such commission should be very discreet and give attention first and mainly to successful prosecution of war, exercising care in giving expression to views concerning internal affairs. Present government is provisional and its main duty, after waging war with vigilance, is arranging for election of Constituent Assembly which will determine character of permanent government. Milyukov and Rodzyanko who were for constitutional monarchy are now reported to favor republic. Kerensky is leader of republican sentiment. Such issues, however, [Page 108] should be subordinated to vigorous prosecution of war, success of which not only affects us materially but will prove most potential influence for a republic. Council of Ministers is working harmoniously, effectively and to satisfaction of great majority. Working-men’s and Soldiers’ Deputies have passed a resolution overwhelmingly, emphatically favoring Provisional Government. Do not understand me as objecting to such a commission. With proper precautions its effect would be beneficial. Commendation of our prompt and first recognition still expressed from every section and its opportuneness was extremely fortunate as, in judgment many, myself included, it came at a most critical time for Provisional Government and established a precedent which other governments were compelled to follow, consequently we should be careful to avoid anything likely to detract from a good record. President Wilson’s allusions to Russian revolution and people made deep impression and have greatly augmented republican sentiment.