File No. 763.72114/5528

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 615


The British Embassy have received a telegram from the Foreign Office with regard to the question of forwarding supplies for the use of Russian prisoners in Germany. The British Government are anxious, in view of the present Russian situation, to find some means of withholding such supplies for Russian prisoners, at all events until [Page 643] it is possible to ascertain the result of the present Russo-German negotiations. These negotiations might well result in the release of the Russian prisoners, the food supplies intended for them being kept in Germany, or the result might be the conclusion of a separate peace, the Russian prisoners being detained in Germany to work there. Either of these two results would be an important advantage for Germany.

The British Government are, owing to the anti-British sentiment now existing in Russia, unable to make an open announcement that supplies must cease to go forward, and they have found it necessary to allow the shipments already received to be distributed. It would make the situation very much easier if the United States authorities could, pending further developments, find a way of preventing further supplies coming forward. In taking any measures with this subject, it is important that no public notice should be given of the cessation of supplies.