File No. 861.00/1461

The First Secretary of the British Embassy ( Robertson ) to the Counselor for the Department of State ( Polk )

Dear Mr. Polk : The Ambassador has asked me to send to you the enclosed paraphrase of the telegram which he read to you this afternoon.

Yours [etc.]

Arnold Robertson
[Page 471]

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Balfour ) to the Ambassador at Washington ( Reading )

It appears most probable that the Germans will, as a result of the peace concluded with Russia, demand the evacuation of Murmansk by the Allies and that they may make an attempt themselves to occupy the port (1) as a submarine base; (2) with a view to furthering their designs on Spitzbergen; (3) for the purpose of cutting off Allied trade with Russia after the war. They will probably also be anxious to seize or destroy the large number of Russian vessels now at Archangel and Murmansk.

It appears essential for the above reasons that the position of the Allies at Murmansk should be a strong one, and it is considered desirable that their fleet there should be as representative as possible. Arrangements have been made by the French Government to send a man-of-war immediately and you should again urge upon the United States Government that it is desirable that they should follow the French example.