861.00/4035: Telegram

The Chargé in Denmark (Grant-Smith) to the Acting Secretary of State

3721. I venture to suggest that the attitude of the Associated Governments toward the nascent states on the Baltic littoral should be determined upon with as little delay as possible. Finland and Esthonia have rid themselves of Bolshevik troops; Latvia and Lithuania are campaigning against them. The Germans are moving in from the south ostensibly to aid the populations to expel the terrorists but in fact to reestablish their hold on those lands which they especially coveted. A certain quantity of much-needed war material has been provided the Esthonians and Letts by the British, but foodstuffs must also be sent in to counteract local Bolshevist tendencies if the aid rendered is to be anything but ephemeral. Since these must come from us, and the Provisional Governments are unable to find cash for purchase, I would suggest the advisability of considering the question of credits and sending an expert familiar with the country, and language too if possible, to ascertain the character of guarantees which might with safety be accepted as security for at least the initial shipments should it be deemed wise to adopt such a procedure. The three points relative to which information is desired are: 1st, [Page 673] military; 2d, political; 3d, the economic situation. The British are partially covering the first two, but might well be seconded by a soldier like Colonel Solbert. The economic question is likewise receiving some attention (see my 3716, March 6, 2 p.m.6), but a visit and report by Lehrs, for many years resident in Russia, should be of much practical value.

Repeated Am[erican] Mission Paris number 241.

  1. Not printed.