File No. 861.00/1264

The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis ) to the Secretary of State 1


Since cabling last midnight2 have seen Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik press. AH dwell upon Japanese threatened invasion and agree in expressing violent opposition thereto. Just received confidential telegram from military attaché who, following instructions, has interviewed Trotsky also chief of staff and German [French] Military Mission; says too early to judge what Bolshevik leaders can do but [Page 74] thinks their intention to fight Germans even if peace ratified; urges avoidance of reprisals and [measures? es]saying to repeal treaty, powers [omission?] if position becomes hopeless later; will accompany Russian, French, Italian staffs to Moscow March 11.

Cannot too strongly urge unwisdom of Japanese invasion now. Conference may ratify peace but if I receive assurance from you that Japanese peril baseless think conference will reject humiliating peace terms. Bolshevik is only power able to offer resistance to German advance and [consequently] should be assisted if sincerely antagonistic to [Germany]. In any case the peace ratification [only] gives Russia a breathing spell as terms thereof are fatal to Bolshevism as well as to integrity of Russia.

I still believe Lenin, Trotsky accepted German money to corrupt and demoralize Russia but later attempted like methods in Germany and failed. Germany having accomplished her fiendish ends in Russia has no further use for her tools and none for their methods except against Entente. Trotsky understands this, Lenin also, and may possibly request Allies’ assistance having already said [no objection?] Americans controlling Siberian Railway and shipments thereon but all Russians violently opposed to Japanese interference. We must act promptly to prevent German-Russian alliance also possible [Japanese-] German alliance which would be even more deplorable.

Consul went to St. Petersburg with Robins, returns Vologda 11th. Consulate still functioning here.

  1. Substance transmitted to the Ambassador in Japan Mar. 13, 8 p.m., “for your information.”
  2. Telegram of Mar. 9, 2 a.m., vol. i, p. 394.