File No. 861.00/3032

The British Chargé (Barclay) to the Secretary of State

No. 1165


His Britannic Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honour to inform him that General Knox has telegraphed to His Majesty’s Government that in his opinion a retirement from the Volga may be followed by a recrudescence of Bolshevism in central Siberia owing to the slackness of the Siberian government in their attitude towards prisoners of war.

[Page 416]

General Knox has put forward the suggestion to His Majesty’s Government that the best way of dealing with this situation would be for the United States, who are at war with Austria and Germany, to undertake the guarding of the prisoners of war, who could be concentrated for this purpose in Manchuria, where it is proposed that the Allied troops should pass the winter months.

His Majesty’s Government agree with General Knox’s view as to the danger which will be constituted by the German and Austrian prisoners in Siberia, and His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires is directed to point out to the United States Government the great service they would render by undertaking the guardianship of such enemy prisoners as it may be possible to concentrate in Manchuria and to express the earnest hope that they will see their way to undertaking this important duty.