The Russian Ambassador (Bakhmeteff) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: In view of recent events I think it advisable to bring forward once more the subject of my position as the representative of Russia in the United States.

Received at Washington in July, 1917, as Ambassador of the first democratic government of Russia, I have remained at my post up to the present time in order to serve and protect Russian national interests and to facilitate, in cooperation with the Treasury and State Departments, the liquidation and final settlement of a large volume of commercial business for which the Government of Russia stood [Page 876] obligated, partly through my agency, to American business concerns. I am happy to believe that American as well as Russian interests have been served thereby.

The work of liquidation has now been brought to a practical close. At the same time my status as Ambassador has been made the subject of renewed discussion. I am led to question whether my continuance, as Ambassador of Russia, will longer serve the best interests of my country and the convenience of the United States Government. I am prepared if the United States Government so desires, to retire and terminate my official functions.

On account of personal matters I have planned to sail from this country within the near future. It would be necessary to wind up my affairs and to arrange for the custody of the Russian property for which I am responsible. This work could be completed about the 30th of June, which date could be regarded as the date on which my retirement from official duties would take effect.

In the event of my retirement I suggest that Mr. Serge Ughet, Financial Attaché of the Embassy, be recognized as custodian of the properties in question and as the agent through whom pending business can be transacted and terminated.

In assuring you of my deep appreciation of the personal consideration I have always enjoyed at the hands of the State Department, and other Departments of the American Government, I desire to express also my gratitude for the good will and consideration with which the United States has treated my country. America was first to welcome the advent of democracy in Russia and to recognize the Provisional Government. Since then and throughout Russia’s great trial the United States has evidenced deep and sympathetic understanding of Russia’s process of transformation and has conserved unbroken faith in the regeneration and happy future of the Russian people. The United States has lent friendly effort in preserving for the Russian people the integrity of their national patrimony and in safeguarding their economic freedom. Finally America has generously come to the relief of suffering and saved millions of Russians from starvation. For this assistance and support in the hour of distress Russia will conserve eternal gratitude.

I avail myself [etc.]

B. Bakhmeteff