File No. 861.00/1269

The Chargé in China (Spencer) to the Secretary of State


Palmer1 telegraphs from Helampo [Taheiho] in the following sense:

Attempt of the Bolsheviks three days ago to seize power in Blagoveshchensk failed owing to the action of militia and Cossacks. [Page 78] Seven hundred Bolsheviks were captured. Bolsheviks have been joined by sailors from Khabarovsk and are trying to occupy the town. About twenty Japanese of the town militia have been killed and wounded. Situation critical. Two thousand Chinese troops await orders on this side of the Amur. In case of the defense of Blagoveshchensk proving success, control over the Amur Railway may be established and offensive against Bolsheviks may be undertaken to the west of Manchuria and to the east toward Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. Fifteen thousand German and Austrian prisoners will be isolated thus by prompt action. These prisoners organizing near Khabarovsk. The president of the Amur Province’s Zemstvo, and the chief of the Amur Cossacks unanimously solicit you to induce Chinese or other Allies to intervene immediately. Lenin’s order concerning new mobilization cannot be applied to eastern Siberia. I consider the situation most serious strategically. I arrived yesterday from Vladivostok, will await your instructions before proceeding any further. Railway communications are cut.

Reports received by Russian Legation confirm Palmer report.

  1. William Morgan Palmer, Vice Consul.