File No. 860d.00/326

The Consul at Helsingfors (Haynes) to the Secretary of State2


117. Ex-Senator Lovonius and Dr. Schonman both strongly urge you [recognize Mannerheim?] as successor of Svinhufvud as regent of the new republican government, which is expected in a few days to supersede the present administration; assure me that Finland will be absolutely neutral and above all pro-Finnish. They say the new government will demand immediately withdrawal of German forces from Finland, order general elections, and request American food and recognition upon the basis of self-determination. It will be impossible for the new or any other government to succeed without food. Notwithstanding the increasing peril of Bolshevikism, Finland under the new régime hopes to be able to defend itself on the eastern frontier if the United States will help it. Consequently, while the government will represent the majority of the people, being at present pro-Ally, still the fear of Bolshevikism must increase before Associated military aid will be requested or welcomed, but it seems advisable that naval and military forces be ready to come at the earliest opportunity, for a greater danger threatens Finland than when the Red government was in charge or when the government put it down and it is believed that the Bolshevik’s journey westward will be stopped only by Allied forces. The seriousness of the impending revolution in Finland depends on how soon Allied armies will establish order in Germany and the Russian border [Page 813] states. The report that General Mannerheim’s visit to London is to ask for the Allies’ consent that German forces remain in Finland to protect the country against Bolshevikism is said to be a sinister hope of the monarchists to protect themselves with German bayonets, a foolish hope, because German forces here are becoming disaffected and may join the Bolsheviks. The embryo republican government in the name of the Finnish people is sending Frederick Carl a message to refuse the crown for the sake of Finland. The paper of the republicans, the Social Democrat, has been suspended to-day by the governor of Nyland government. Circulation of 65,000 is greater than any other daily. All indications are that trouble is threatening in Finland.

I venture to suggest that my telegram1 to grant visas to Ignatius and Paloheimo to go to America as representative of the present monarchical pro-German government be unanswered.

  1. Sent via the Legation in Sweden (No. 3148).
  2. Not printed.