File No. 861.00/2799a

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


274. As it is, in the opinion of the Government of the United States, plain that no gathering of any effective force by the Russians is to be hoped for, we shall insist with the other governments, so far as our cooperation is concerned, that all military effort in northern Russia be given up except the guarding of the ports themselves and as much of the country round about them as may develop threatening conditions. We will, of course, do our utmost to send supplies, but cannot undertake general relief, and must presently, of course, be cut off from Archangel by the ice and able to go only to Murmansk.

You are advised that no more American troops will be sent to the northern ports.

The course which you have followed is most earnestly commended. It has the entire admiration of the President who has characterized it as being thoroughly American. I highly approve of your actions. They have been very consistent and have been guided by a very sound judgment exercised under the most trying and complicated circumstances. The course which the Government of the United States is following is not the course of our free choice but that of stern necessity. Circumstances in European Russia, which have thrown the country into one of the saddest periods recorded in all history, and our separation from the scenes of bloodshed and anarchy by the intervening hostile territory render any efforts which this Government could make to bring succor to the distressed people of Russia inadequate and impracticable. We are constrained, consequently, to come to a decision which this message will convey to you.

For your information the following is sent to you. It is being sent to Mr. Morris who is now at Vladivostok and is being conveyed directly to the Governments at London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Peking. [Here follow the first seven paragraphs of telegram of September 26, 1918, 6 p.m., to Ambassador Morris, temporarily at Vladivostok, ante, page 392.]