File No. 861.77/212
The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War
Sir: I have received a note from the Russian Ambassador, dated November 6, 1917, stating that the schedule of the proposed delivery of 1,500 locomotives for the Russian Government, which I enclose herewith,1 requires your approval before it can be put in operation. For your information I am also enclosing a copy of the Ambassador’s note.1
I have no hesitation in urging that every possible support be given to Russia. At the same time I hope you will agree that no contract for delivery of railroad material, whether locomotives or cars, should be made with Russia, which does not stipulate that the duration of the agreement is contingent upon Russia’s continuing active in support of the war against Germany.
A recent telegram from the Ambassador at Petrograd, copy of which you have already seen, also suggests the possibility that Mr. Stevens may modify his previous recommendations upon which the pending schedule is based. The Department has cabled the Ambassador for an urgent decision one way or the other. It consequently seems to me that any final approval of the enclosed schedule of delivery for locomotives should await word which Mr. Stevens has been asked to send.
I have [etc.]