File No. 861.00/3115

The Consul General at Irkutsk (Harris) to the Secretary of State1


159. For Department’s attention and consideration. Following message received through courier by Vice Consul, Ekaterinburg, from Ambassador Francis:2

To liberty-loving Poles: As American Ambassador representing a free people I appeal to you to make every effort to throw off German yoke. The President of the United States before America came into the war expressed the sentiment of the American people when he said, “Poland should be free and independent.” America is unselfishly waging a war for humanity against force, for the right of all people to govern themselves, for every nation great and small to have free access to the seas, and Poland is not only included in America’s roster of nations but was the first named. Czecho-Slovaks and Jugo-Slavs have also been recognized by my government as Allies and American troops are advancing from Archangel and Vladivostok to reinforce the valiant soldiers who are now so courageously struggling with armed German and Austrian war prisoners and Bolsheviks under German and Austrian officers. Do not lose hope. Do not be discouraged; The Allied forces are achieving great victories on the western front. America will never lay down her arms until an enduring peace is secured. Francis, American Ambassador, Archangel.

Unfortunately Vice Consul at Ekaterinburg, without referring matter to me or consulting me, caused this message to be published. That part referring to American military assistance to the Czechs from Vladivostok is directly at variance with the Department’s instructions to me and has made a disagreeable impression among the Czechs, as it would appear that there is lack of harmony among the Americans. Acknowledge by telegraph.

  1. Sent via the Legation in China.
  2. A text of this message, in practically identical words, was enclosed in the Ambassador’s despatch No. 1213, Sept. 10–12, received Oct. 1 (File No. 861.00/2847).