File No. 861.00/2615

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


366. Nothing from you since unnumbered July 30,1 except unnumbered cable August 32 received 4th, Murman, approving decision remaining Russia and Reuter [statement] 4th received August 17 and Department confirmation thereof August 22.3 Sending this by courier to Murman as Archangel-Murman cable overloaded and efficiency impaired by conflicting currents from magnetic pole.

Quiet here, where not exceeding 200 [2,000?] Allied soldiers under Poole, who has expeditions 100 miles south on Vologda Railroad and 200 miles up Dvina River toward Kotlas, but is awaiting reenforcements before attempting further advance. Poole expects 4,800 Americans here September 15 and 1,000 British September 1, says is confident that whatever troops opposing his are under German instruction as none but experienced men could [handle] machine and aerial guns with which enemy seems to be equipped.

[Page 514]

Of 50 American bluejackets 25 were sent up Dvina in a party of 300 August 13, three Americans detailed with Garstin expedition on branch of Dvina, one Pescke, slightly wounded, returned to Archangel. Garstin [to be?] buried 24th with military honors, forces [British] officer well known to Embassy staff.

Department’s official announcement of Siberian policy, although mystifying on first reading, appears admirably adapted to Russian situation and pleases [omission]; resulting Japanese statement which was received before receipt of declaration and consequently was obscure when [not?] read in connection with ours, was quite [omission] Russian Government. I shall endeavor to follow policy outlined when American troops arrive.

Meantime American, French and Italian chancelleries assigned quarters in governor’s mansion. I have secured comfortable apartment and have attendant on [omission] invitations tea afternoon 24th to the officials of the new government to meet Allied chiefs and General Poole and staff and other Allied military missions. [Embassy] staff consists of Johnston, McClelland, Groves and the Misses Woodworth, Knox, Struve with Military Attaché Ruggles, Lieutenant Kliefoth and two assistants. Riggs left 20th instant for Paris on his urgent request approved by Ruggles and myself to acquaint War Council, Paris, with Russian situation and the necessity for prompt reenforcements. His return expected in one month.

Captain Bierer returned to Murman 17th instant with Admiral Kemp.

  1. Ante, p. 504.
  2. Vol. i, p. 625.
  3. Statement of Aug. 3, regarding military action in Russia, ante, p. 328.