File No. 861.00/2792

The British Chargé (Barclay) to the Secretary of State

No. 1051


The British Chargé d’Affaires presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honour to inform him that all the information at the disposal of the British Government indicates that it is of great importance to start without delay training such Russian officers and volunteers as may desire to support the Allies. If such training is deferred the Russians are likely to take the view that the Allies are not seriously interested in them, and they would then completely lose faith in the Allied policy. It has therefore been suggested that General Knox1 should be authorized to proceed, provisionally, with the training of a maximum number of 3,000 Russian officers and men, and His Majesty’s Government would propose to sanction this scheme, in the absence of any objection on the part of the United States Government. In putting forward this suggestion the British Chargé d’Affaires is instructed to explain that the proposal for the training of these men is completely without prejudice to any arrangement which may eventually be decided upon between the Allies as to the command of the Russian forces and the responsibility for them; it will also in no way affect the general Allied policy in the Far East. His Majesty’s Government think, however, that, in order to combat the growing feeling of discouragement and doubt which seems to be felt among Russians in Siberia, it is urgently necessary to start this training as soon as possible, and they would therefore be very glad to receive as early as possible the views of the United States Government on this proposal.

  1. Maj. Gen. Sir Alfred W. F. Knox, in command of the British forces in Siberia.