File No. 763.72119/996

The Consul at Tiflis (Smith) to the Secretary of State


During an interview with French and British military agents and commander in chief of this front to-day the latter informed us that he received letter from [omission] Pasha, commanding Third [Page 586] Turkish Army, proposing negotiations for terms. At a meeting of the government here at which this fact was officially adjusted [announced] by him it was decided to open negotiations for armistice of three months, troops on both sides to remain in the present positions. He particularly stated that he would insist upon no troops being withdrawn to Turkish-British front. He stated also he could no longer hold the army in place under present conditions and even if armistice is declared he could only hope to hold the armies on the front with financial assistance of the Allies. The government here was obliged to take such a step in order to save front and prevent Maximalists’ obtaining full control. We took note of the facts communicated and jointly protested against any such step’s being taken without previously submitting the question to our respective governments. I later had a conversation with the Prime Minister who confirmed commander in chief’s statement. Formation of national troops, am informed, is to proceed if funds are available. I still hold the views expressed in my telegram of yesterday but steps indicated therein must be taken immediately.