861.00/6064: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Davis ) to the Secretary of State

21. The following telegram has been received from Paris January 4, noon.

[Page 486]

[“]Have just received Foreign Office note relative to French policy in Siberia, repeat to Secretary of State, translation of text as follows:

‘Paris, December 31. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has read with interest the memorandum which has been communicated to it and in which is set forth the point of view of the Federal Government regarding the Siberian situation and the conversations which have taken place between the representatives of the United States and Japan.28 The Department is of the same opinion as Mr. Lansing that the present unsteadiness of Admiral Kolchak is due partly to the presence in his Government of ill intention[ed] reactionary factors to whom he has had to give way and whom he was perhaps powerless to eliminate in view of the democratic declarations he addressed, last May, to the Allied and Associated Powers. It would indeed seem very desirable that Admiral Kolchak be maintained at the head of a Siberian government: indeed the constant policy of the French Government in its action in Siberia lias ever been to support, as much as possible, the authority of the Admiral by giving him moral and material marks of confidence.

Unhappily, the recent news from Siberia shows that the personal status of the Supreme Governor is nearly absolutely ruined which will not prevent the French Government from carefully abstaining from any action liable to place him in a still graver position. The French Government is glad to learn, however, that direct conversations have taken place between the Federal Government and Japan relative to the situation in Siberia. An agreement between these two countries, both as regards economic questions and concerted action in Eastern Russia, would indeed be the only means of avoiding the disintegration of social order in those regions.

As to the American and Japanese troops, which are now protecting the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the French Government expresses the hope that they may be maintained. It would, in fact, be most expedient to consider increasing their number. The latter solution, added to an economic action undertaken by the two countries, would afford the means, while there is yet time, of stemming the progress of Bolshevism in Siberia. The unrest which now exists in Eastern Russia strengthen [s] the French Government in its opinion that, as the Federal Government itself has pointed out, it is advisable to avoid, in so far as may be consistent with the safety of the foreign troops, any interference in the internal affairs of that region. The Russian people must be left entirely free to work out themselves their political destinies and in presence of such a confused situation the French agents in Siberia have shown so far that they fully realize the necessity of not intervening between the different parties’.

Davis [Wallace].”

Wallace [Davis]
  1. See footnote 21, p. 481.