File No. 861.00/2571

The Consul at Vladivostok (Caldwell) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

112. Local armed military force which Zemstvo has been allowed to form since Czechs took control here in the hope that it might act as nucleus of Russian army to cooperate with Allies last night changed allegiance from officer appointed by Zemstvo to Horvat and seized staff building attempting to seize government bank and other buildings but being prevented by city police. This move not surprising [Page 355] as force mainly officers and young students to whom Horvat appeals. Allied consuls to-day met with representatives Czech National Council and unanimously agreed to present to council Allied commanders recommendation that force be disarmed or compelled to leave Russian territory as they are now here in defiance of regulations made by Czechs and Allied commanders and should be therefore treated as other Horvat forces which were sent from here by Horvat on demand of Allied commanders.

Consuls also informed Allied commanders they consider no Russian armed force other than city police should be permitted here until Allies can supervise and control organization so as to insure its being used solely in cooperation with Allies in war against Germany. I believe Allies should at once undertake formation such Russian force under Allied control to fight with Allies thus giving chance to assist to those Russians who really wish to do so. I also consider some measure of martial law should be proclaimed and enforced by Allies in this province including railways on which our Railway Service Corps should be placed immediately under control our army.

Allied consuls are about ready to make effort to have Horvat leave Russian territory, possibly asking Allied commanders to use force to this end if necessary because his continued presence here is turning against Czechs rural population who believe his presence here proves that he is supported by Allies and Czechs thus making Czech campaign more difficult. Horvat issuing orders which show he considers he is in control of local situation. People here much excited, many street gatherings mainly despite Horvat.

Copies sent Department and Tokyo.

Caldwell