Paris Peace Conf. 861.00/71: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Commission to Negotiate Peace

57. For Secretary of State from Polk. Had a long talk with Senator Swanson this morning in regard to speech of Senator Johnson attacking Russian policy of Government and resolution calling on State Department to submit all information in regard to Russian situation.29 Johnson’s speech more or less on the same lines as Oswald Villard’s article in Nation30 which you saw. Johnson’s resolution calling on Department for information came up in Foreign Relations Committee and failed to pass by a tie vote, Senator Pomerene and Senator Thomas voting for the resolution. It is now the intention of the Committee to ask me to appear at an executive session to give such information as I can. I see no objection to this proposal as I think our policy in regard to the Archangel expedition and Siberian expedition clear and it would be better to frankly give such information as is proper rather than refuse to appear. Of course it would be undesirable to discuss at length the difficulties with Japan. Please cable me at once whether the President has any objection to my appearing at an executive session of the committee.

Swanson fears that there will be great pressure brought to bear for the immediate withdrawal of our troops at Archangel and Siberia and urges that some decision be reached as to the future policy and cabled to the Department as it would be helpful to present situation.

  1. For text of Senator Johnson’s speech and resolution, see Congressional Record, vol. 57, p. 342.
  2. Dec. 21, 1918, vol. cvii, p. 763.