861.01/195: Telegram

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

306. Foreign Office sends me the following statement of the policy with reference to Russia as the result of discussion extending over nearly two days; it doubtless will be communicated to the press.

“The Allied Governments have agreed on the following conclusions.

If the communities which border on the frontiers of Soviet Russia and whose independence or de facto autonomy they have recognized were to approach them and to ask for advice as to what attitude they should take with regard to Soviet Russia the Allied Governments would reply that they cannot accept the responsibility of advising them to continue a war which may be injurious to their own interests. Still less would they advise them to adopt a policy of aggression towards Russia. If however Soviet Russia attacks inside their legitimate frontiers the Allies will give them every possible support.

The Allies cannot enter into diplomatic relations with the Soviet Government in view of their past experiences until they have arrived at the conviction that Bolshevist horrors have come to an end and that the Government of Moscow is ready to conform its methods and diplomatic conduct to those of all civilized governments. The British and Swiss Governments were both compelled to expel representatives of the Soviet Government from their respective countries because these had abused their privileges. Commerce between Russia and the rest of Europe which is so essential for the improvement of economic conditions not only in Russia but in the rest of the world will be encouraged to the utmost degree possible without relaxation of the attitude described above. Furthermore the Allies agree in the belief that it is highly desirable to obtain impartial and authoritative information regarding the conditions now prevailing in Russia. They have therefore noted with satisfaction the proposal before the international labor bureau which is a branch of the League of Nations to send a commission of investigation to Russia to examine the facts. They think however that this inquiry would be invested with even greater authority and with superior chances of success if it were made upon the initiative and conducted under the supervision of the Council of the League of Nations itself and they invite that body to take action in this direction.”