File No. 861.51/180

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


1591. [Also for the Secretary of the Treasury.]

Continuing my telegram No. 15431 to you through Department. Postponed replying expecting Ministry be formed yesterday by [but] Chernov made intemperate speech in Council of Workmen-Soldiers attacking Cadets who had about concluded to serve with him temporarily in the Ministry.2 Effect of that speech unknown yet. Meantime my recommendation in my 1543 for $50,000,000 additional credit about coincides with your cable which states you are favorably considering advancing $60,000,000 for August payments mainly to meet British obligations for Russian orders. See no objection thereto if such purchases are necessary war supplies awaiting shipment. Before our entering war England assumed obligation for $200,000,000 Russian war supplies to be purchased in America. When Russia first asked American credit, Minister of Finance definitely and repeatedly expressed desire that English obligation for Russian purchases in America should not be included therein. Now Russia asks English relief from such obligations. Government here so admits. From commercial viewpoint England should guarantee such obligations but would be impolitic to so require. Russia clearly understands from me that our relieving England from obligations comes out of Russian credit. Minister of Finance not appointed but Tereshchenko who likely retained as Minister for Foreign Affairs says remainder of $100,000,000 credit should be applied as you suggest for silver to pay Russian troops in Persia and for shoes urgently needed. Minister of Foreign Affairs said, replying to inquiry, that Bakhmeteff fully authorized but did not definitely specify had sole power to determine use of credits. Am cabling Department daily about conditions which suppose you see. Please keep me advised concerning credits extended. Five times seventy millions would not preserve exchange value of ruble if Russian Government fails to inspire confidence, Ministry probably will be named to-day; if so, Moscow conference will be held August 7 which expected to approve Ministry and its policies.