File No. 861.00/2645

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

[Telegram]

385. July 6, agreement signed, Murman, between [by?] England, America and France represented respectively by Poole, Bierer and [Page 520] Petit, French naval captain, with Murman Soviet.1 I suppose Department duly advised. Department never informed me of agreement, but when I was on Olympia cable was received from Navy Department or probably Admiral Sims approving Bierer’s action. Agreement binds Allies to supply Murman region with foodstuffs including workmen and their families to [omission] extent possible and “to accord Murman region council necessary financial assistance, amount, form, and conditions of which to be decided by further agreement.” Object of agreement was to effect unresisted landing Allied forces and induce local Soviet to renounce allegiance to Central Soviet, Moscow.

Poole left Murman for Archangel July 31, leaving Maynard in command. No money ever paid by Allies and only 1,200 tons flour furnished by England. It appears no workmen paid since June, some since January. Representative Murman council has been here a week demanding 32,000,000 rubles concerning which he has had several conferences with American, French, British and Italian chiefs. To-day agreed to accept 5,000,000 rubles to appease striking workmen. Maynard arrived to-day, reports situation Murman serious if workmen’s claims ignored longer. Chiefs agree subject to the approval of governments to pay Maynard for distribution among workmen 5,000,000 [rubles] on condition Allied representatives supervise distribution money, and further condition that management of Murman Railway be controlled by Allies.

Murman region includes Alexandrovsk and Kem districts, and the Murman council negotiating for a union with sovereign government here. Another condition of 5,000,000 ruble advance and future advances is that sovereign government guarantee repayment or adding same to Russian war debt. Maynard returns to Murman 7th taking 5,000,000 [rubles] furnished by French Ambassador. The Italian and the Serbian Governments informed representatives here that [they?] approve aforesaid agreement. Shall I concur and obligate Government to pay our share? Railroad never constructed properly, requires much reconstruction, but essential for transporting men and supplies for which road now almost exclusively used. The Allies control to Soroka about 360 miles from Arctic coast. Do not see how we can decline participation. Answer. No reply to my 364,2 asking authority of guarantee with the British and French 15,000,000 ruble loan secured by 20,000,000 [rubles] worth merchandise.

New government experiencing financial difficulties. It appears England has cabled [garbled group] proposing plan for holding [building] up reserve in London to secure note issue by new government.1 [Page 521] I see no objection thereto except fear reserve inadequate and can see no reason why such reserve should be confined to London and not include New York for whatever rubles we purchase for our requirements here.

Francis
  1. For text of agreement, see ante, p. 493.
  2. Vol. iii, p. 58.
  3. Vol. iii, pp. 66 and 67.