661.1115/275a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Reval (Albrecht)

You may hand to Litvinoff75 the following statement which is made public here today:

“The Government of the United States views with deep sympathy and grave concern the plight of the people of Russia and desires to aid by every appropriate means in promoting proper opportunities through which commerce can be established upon a sound basis. It is manifest to this Government that in existing circumstances there is no assurance for the development of trade, as the supplies which Russia might now be able to obtain would be wholly inadequate to meet her needs and no lasting good can result so long as the present causes of progressive impoverishment continue to operate. It is only in the productivity of Russia that there is any hope for the Russian people and it is idle to expect resumption of trade until the economic bases of production are securely established. Production is conditioned upon the safety of life, the recognition by firm guarantees of private property, the sanctity of contract, and the rights of free labor. If fundamental changes are contemplated, involving due regard for the protection of persons and property and the establishment of conditions essential to the maintenance of commerce, this Government will be glad to have convincing evidence of the consummation of such changes, and until this evidence is supplied this Government is unable to perceive that there is any proper basis for considering trade relations.”

  1. Maxim M. Litvinov, Assistant Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs and Plenipotentiary Representative of the Soviet Republic to Esthonia.