Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Russian Affairs, Department of State (Poole)

The attached text of telegraphic orders addressed to Admiral Bristol at Constantinople by the Navy Department, January 12, 1922, has been furnished me by Captain W. C. Cole, of the Navy Department.

It is understood that these orders are transmitted to Admiral Bristol through Admiral Niblack.

The text of the orders is that agreed upon in conference between Captain Cole, Mr. Herter, of the Department of Commerce, and myself

D. C. P[oole]

The Secretary of the Navy (Denby) to the High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol)


1312. Services of American Relief Administration particularly in the Black Sea will be very much broadened in near future and it is desire of Navy Department that you will afford every facility including use of vessels of force under your command to representatives of Mission in accomplishment of their work. It is possible that Food Commission will desire to make use of services of naval officers in connection with port activities and to limited extent as representatives of Food Commission in accordance with precedent established in connection with activities of Commission subsequent to Armistice of November nineteen eighteen, with this difference however that activities just mentioned were situated in neutral or enemy countries covered by terms of Armistice. Department realizes that it is not possible to give definite instructions concerning this matter to [Page 826] you but desires that you will keep in mind the political expediency of keeping at minimum consistent with efficient relief operations the appearance of United States naval vessels in Soviet ports or contact of naval officers with Bolshevik authorities and absolute necessity to avoid any appearance of recognition in any way of Soviet Government or even representatives of local government in ports in which you may be called upon to operate with your force. Subject to above remarks the arrangement of details will be left to your discretion and it is requested that you will keep Navy Department informed of action taken. Minimum expenditure of fuel to accomplish mission is authorized. 1200.

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