File No. 861.00/2829

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


427. Ambassadors and General Poole just had a conference with Chaikovski, Gukovski, Durov, Grudistov. After prolonged heated discussion Chaikovski agreed to issue amnesty proclamation pardoning all implicated in coup d’état and Poole guaranteed against another coup d’état.

Grudistov persisted in declination to become minister on the ground that executive council, fifteen members, of which he expected to be chairman, should be separated from Ministry and I thought same correct, but colleagues insisted that bourgeoisie be represented [Page 549] in ministry. Consequently Mefodiev was suggested and will probably be offered membership in the ministry. Executive council is representative of following interests: Zemstvo, two members; following one each—Archangel city government, trades-union, cooperative producers, cooperative consumers, peoples’ bank, bourse, chamber of commerce, retailers, shipbuilders, owners fishing boats, [omission] private banks, society for studying north, and timber interests which are represented by Grudistov who proposed plan. Council represents local interests which the sovereign government did not. Plan approved unanimously and promises satisfactory operation but Russians very uncertain and mutually suspicious.

Riggs cables from Paris that Bliss1 may be opposed to sending additional American troops Archangel and the French Ambassador Washington had cabled Paris President Wilson likewise opposed. Riis, acting naval attaché by orders from the Navy Department (operations), reports two ships, McElvare, Dundee, with British and French troops and two American couriers; Poole’s chief of staff told me last evening these expected arrivals were to fill military organizations already here. Epidemic apparently under control, total deaths, including four killed in action, 68.

Allied forces expect to take Kotlas within ten days and [as] Bolsheviks only waging guerrilla warfare but have mined Dvina, also planning advance down railroad toward Vologda which starts within next few days. [American] troops with both expeditions. Poole says will confer medal on an American for gallant service.

In action on the Dvina, 21st, one officer, 30 Americans wounded; all brought here, doing well but anxious to return to duty.

British, French and myself guaranteed 250,000 rubles jointly for the construction of additional hospital space.

  1. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss, U.S. member of the Supreme War Council.