File No. 861.00/1233

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 232


The British Rear Admiral at Murmansk has reported to His Majesty’s Government that a serious situation exists there owing to the anti-Ally attitude adopted by the Bolsheviki garrison, and to the reported intention of the Finns who, acting at the instigation of the Germans, propose to advance on the Petrograd-Murmansk Railway. The arrival at Murmansk from Petrograd of refugees who are seeking passages for England and of repatriated Russian sailors and soldiers, the attitude of whom will probably be hostile, is complicating the situation.

In the opinion of the British Rear Admiral, the occupation of Murmansk will probably be necessary and he has made an urgent appeal for reinforcements. A British cruiser has been sent and the British Embassy are instructed to ask the United States Government to dispatch a man-of-war to join the squadron now on the spot as soon as possible, as the situation may develop rapidly and the matter is therefore extremely urgent.