File No. 861.00/2904

The Russian Ambassador (Bakhmeteff) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have received your communication of September 27, transmitting a memorandum of even date, relating to the disposition for the winter of the American expeditionary forces in Russia and the sending of supplies to the Czecho-Slovaks.

It is with deep affliction that I have learned of the sad conclusion to which the Government of the United States has arrived with regard to the military situation beyond the Ural Mountains, and of the decision which it has reached upon the prospects of the Czechoslovak action in that region. The disheartening effect of the withdrawal of the Czecho-Slovaks in face of the pressure of the German forces and their merciless satellites can scarcely be overvalued.

However, I understand that the program, embodied in the memorandum, is primarily a result of considerations of military character, and that the whole statement is to be regarded as an inter-governmental communiqué, of most confidential character, expressing an estimation of an existing military situation with certain tactical [Page 397] consequences, and not as an exposé of general policy. In particular, I am led to feel that the memorandum is not intended to manifest a change of attitude of the United States in regard to Russia and that the practical decisions, covered by the document, do not interfere with the general line of policy expressed on so many occasions.

Nevertheless, as the memorandum refers to issues of most vital political consequence, it seems to be of the greatest importance, with regard to the interests of the Russian people, that any misconception relating to the real purport of the United States Government should be possibly avoided.

I would greatly appreciate, therefore, if, for my guidance, you would consider it possible to confirm to me whether my understanding of the purpose and the character of the document is congruent with the views and the intentions of your Government.

I avail myself [etc.]

B. Bakhmeteff