File No. 861.00/3369

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

[Telegram]

221. Am inclined to believe that situation in Siberia is very slowly improving. Although Czechs are retiring from Ufa leaving that front in the hands of the Russians, yet I am of opinion that arrival of Stefanik will have salutary effect on relations between the Czechs and Russians. It would appear also that Semenov is gradually is [being] eliminated as creditable factor. From fairly good source, am informed that Japanese are withdrawing their support from Semenov. This will probably force him to retire from the railway line at least and it is thought that he, together with a part of his followers, will go to Mongolia. Unless some of the hot-headed reactionary officers attempt to proclaim a monarchy, and thus spoil everything, the developments of the past week are in favor of Kolchak. I feel that even the rank and file of the Social Revolutionists are not disinclined to see him succeed, for the reason that they feel at least that he is not for a monarchy. This belief is now being shared by the Czechs to a great extent.

I have gained the impression that a spirit is now being engendered through which will be expressed a sincere desire to do something in the right direction. Extreme partisan feeling is less marked than a fortnight back, and unfriendly races here [one now hears?] more about what might be best for all Russia and less about the local interests of Siberia. I feel confident that such men as Kolchak, Ustrugov, and Vologodski certainly do not stand for reaction but are imbued with the patriotic desire to bring about the regeneration of Russia along democratic [lines]. [Omission] their respective governments. In this respect, I have not [omission]. As I have pointed out before, the Russian Government which the Government of the United States should finally recognize is the one which gradually rises up out of all these internal convulsions and provided that it has strength enough to survive. Such a government cannot be created until all Russia is definitely cleared of Bolsheviks. In which case, meantime it would be wise policy to encourage such efforts as are now being made in Omsk; naturally the position of the Omsk government, however, is very dangerous. It is without money. The soldiers are without sufficient clothes and are badly and irregularly paid, and what is worse, the government has not [Page 456] been able to combat Social Revolutionists and Bolshevik propaganda which is undermining the discipline of the soldiers on this front. It would appear that the English and French representatives are inclined to favor Kolchak. It is possible [I] may eventually recommend recognition too, without committing ourselves, for the reason that an effort is actually being made to do best possible under most trying and adverse circumstances.

Harris
  1. Sent via the Legation in China.