File No. 861.00/2738

The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith translation of a number of orders1 issued by the “supreme government of the northern region” [Page 513] decreeing the construction and operation of the new government.

It will be seen from these orders that in principle there is a reversion to the general form of government during the Kerensky regime, using the Zemstvo and municipal Duma organizations as a base, with the addition of an appointed commissar who will exercise rather arbitrary powers in connection with the other representatives in each [the] government; however, at the present time, this is probably necessary in order to exert some positive control of the functioning of such representatives, the government being in its primitive stage. Because of the impossibility at the present time of holding elections to determine the representatives from the Zemstvo and municipal organizations, they too are, of necessity, selected by the leaders of the present new government. This form of government, on the whole, should and undoubtedly will appeal to the majority of the people, who have not forgotten the practical efficiency of the Zemstvo organizations nor their actual popular representation.

I will keep the Department informed both by despatch and by cable as to the future changes in the form of this government together with pertinent comment thereon.

I have [etc.]

David R. Francis
  1. Not printed; see telegram No. 88 of Aug. 6 from the Consul at Archangel, ante, p. 508.