File No. 861.00/3289

The Consul General at Irkutsk ( Harris ) to the Secretary of State 1

[Telegram]

204. As nearly as can be ascertained at the present moment the trend of affairs here in Omsk all-Russian government is to free itself as much as possible from the intrigues, German influence of the various groups and Russian politicians in Harbin and Vladivostok. It is felt that every dissatisfied official or politician who has failed in western and central Siberia goes to the Far East and settles down with the idea of creating as much trouble as possible for the government here. There is a marked tendency races [manifest?] to break completely with the Contraventions [Constituent?] and, concentrating every effort towards connecting up with European Russia, to accept the Omsk all-Russian government as a nucleus for complete new arrangement which will include all western and central Siberia. This policy same as [seems?] being forced upon the Omsk government by machinations of Semenov and not known [now shown?] by General Ivanov. The open hostility which General Ivanov has shown towards [Page 445] every effort of the Siberians to form their government and against the Czechs is well known. Very interesting telegrams, which have been intercepted, of Ivanov, who is now in Vladivostok, to Minister for Foreign Affairs shows the extent of the intrigue now going on. One of these telegrams was sent before Kolchak was appointed dictator; contains certain statements as follows:

Vladivostok, October 21, the 22d hour.

The Czechs are, with all their power, endeavoring to maintain their accidentally acquired world-wide reputation at the expense of Russia, for which reason they are exercising their propaganda expedition [affecting] America and are attempting to show that the Russians are incapable of self-government. The Czechs are supporting socialism and by a direct interference in the internal affairs of Russia are trying to paralyze its regeneration. The Czechs would like to form an all-Slav government including a Russia which they may dominate. Therefore it is not to the Czech interests to let Russia organize an independent government from them. We now plainly see the reason why the Czechs desire to take from us clothing, boots, rifles, cartridges and a great many supplies. Hence, the interference in its internal affairs. Hence the taking over the command of “fighting army.” I fully realize the large amount of war material which the Czechs have taken from us and what immense supplies have been accumulated and right at a time when the army is naked, barefooted, and disarmed. The Czechs have hinted that emigrants in America, restricting [especially?] the Jews, [prevent] from recognizing us as a government. Up until now America has helped only the Czechs and has sent write [right] to 120,000 of our rifles and 200,000 boots, and I have managed to change the address of the shipment to our favor. I have also managed to ship to our army 150,000 boots, so the Czechs were not able to get recognized [sic]. I have also sized up [Gaida?] and do not believe in him very much, as the order on the 30,000 rifles was given by America to England and Knox were given write [sic] to Gaida and the latter by giving weapons to Pepelik will delay [sic]. Major General Ivanov.

As stated, Kolchak and his advisers appear determined to ignore the political groups unreasonably far east and concentrate their efforts to [on] Siberia west of Baikal and seek relief for all Russia by forcing [way] open to Perm, Samara, and Rostov and journeys [junction] with the Allies in western and southern European Russia. Naturally there is the [no?] intention to secede from that part of Siberia east of the Baikal, but the atmosphere in that whole region is so complicated and charged with intrigue and corruption that is now felt that the best solution would be to cut loose entirely from it as far as possible and deal with the whole far eastern situation with a strong hand at some later date after the mote important questions involving European Russia have been definitely solved. It is felt that this pose [plan] can be carried out provided the telegraph and railroad communications with Harbin and Vladivostok can be kept open as supplies to any similar connections, at least, beside those with the Allies, in that case west [sic].

Harris
  1. Sent via the Legation in China.