File No. 861.00/2620

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

[Telegram]

374. Situation exceedingly difficult, but not impossible in my judgment. New government claims jurisdiction over six provinces but freedom of action limited exclusively to territory occupied by Allied forces, of which have reminded government in my effort to reconcile it to orders issued by military authorities without previous consultation. Friction invariably accompanies exercise of military and civil authority over same territory. British military complain because some Russians suspicious of British and French intentions and resent foreign domination. Have started report that America disapproves presence of Allied forces and has demanded their departure within two days; it appears that different construction placed on Department’s declaration of August 3 from what was intended and some charge discord between America and other Allies. Furthermore new government is opposed by monarchists and extreme revolutionists who mistake [miss?] no opportunity to undermine it. I think new government should be encouraged and strengthened in every way possible as its overthrow would prolong civil dissension and greatly strengthen Bolsheviki and perpetuate Soviet government. I have taken this position with my colleagues who unanimously expressed agreement therewith and said they were cooperating. The new government claims understanding with sober [Social Revolutionist?] movement in Samara and with new Siberian government.

It is reported that American troops will arrive within three days and I hope report true as their presence would be effective answer to false rumors and would probably reconcile new government to exercise military authority. General Poole’s orders are meant to strengthen new government by repressing opposition thereto but new officials claim they have no authority and are being effaced by military rule. If Allied forces were not here Bolsheviki would drive into Arctic Ocean all new government officials and supporters not caught and shot.

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Courier from American Consul, Samara, arrived 30th. Left Samara August 3 for Vologda where he arrived 15th and remained few hours, long enough to learn that Bolshevik troops shooting ten men daily without trial because suspected of counter-revolutionary sentiments. Some days ago reports courier from Allied Consuls, Ekaterinburg, who arrived Archangel 24th, fifty men, four women, interned as hostages, were shot in cold blood including women on approach Czechs. More later, as holding daily conferences with colleagues and new government officials.

Tell Mott 1 Russia great field. Food supplies work of his association but men of experience and judgment required including educators and send same immediately with supplies as food situation is critical.

Francis
  1. John R. Mott, general secretary of the National War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A.