File No. 861.51/135

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


1212. For the Secretary of the Treasury:

Minister of Finance states total annual interest Rs. 1,400,000,000; total funded debt Rs. 37,000,000,000, of which Rs. 1,000,000,000 mature [Page 5] in 1921, Rs. 1,000,000,000 in 1925, and Rs. 2,000,000,000 in 1926; remainder are 49-year bonds maturing in 1963. Says state holdings of lands and forests and deposits of coal, petroleum, platinum, and gold aggregate much more [than] total indebtedness. Pokrovski, late Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Comptroller of the Empire, is now employed by Government in appraising Russia’s assets. Shall cable report when finished. My judgment is that Russia can undoubtedly meet all obligations. What Minister of Finance most desires is long time, and would pay 4½ per cent or even 5 per cent therefor. Says confidentially would like to transfer from England to us the $360,000,000 mentioned in my No. 1204, but without taking same out of our loan to Russia which should be at least equal to that of England and France (see my telegram 1211 to Lansing concerning conditions1).