SELECTED DOCUMENTS FROM
GOVERNMENT FILES OF THE
UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN
Note: Some documents comprise several papers that form a related group.
DOCUMENT NO. 1 Cable from Ambassador Francis in Petrograd to U.S. State Department and related letter from Secretary of State Robert Lansing to President Woodrow Wilson (March 17, 1917)
DOCUMENT NO. 2 British Foreign Office document (October 1917) claiming Kerensky was in the pay of the German government and aiding the Bolsheviks
DOCUMENT NO. 3 Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Company and his position on the Kerensky and Bolshevik regimes (November 1918)
DOCUMENT NO. 4 Memorandum from William Boyce Thompson, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to the British prime minister David Lloyd George (December 1917)
DOCUMENT NO. 5 Letter from Felix Frankfurter to Soviet agent Santeri Nuorteva (May 9, 1918)
DOCUMENT NO. 6 Personnel of the Soviet Bureau, New York, 1920; list from the New York State Lusk Committee files
DOCUMENT NO. 7 Letter from National City Bank to the U.S. Treasury referring to Ludwig Martens and Dr. Julius Hammer (April 15, 1919)
DOCUMENT NO. 8 Letter from Soviet agent William (Bill) Bobroff to Kenneth Durant (August 3, 1920)
DOCUMENT NO. 9 Memo referring to a member of the J. P. Morgan firm and the British director of propaganda Lord Northcliffe (April 13, 1918)
DOCUMENT NO. 10 State Department Memo (May 29, 1922) regarding General Electric Co.
DOCUMENT NO. 1
Cable from Ambassador Francis in Petrograd to the Department of State in Washington, D.C., dated March 14, 1917, and reporting the first stage of the Russian Revolution (861.00/273).
Dated March 14, 1917,
Recd. 15th, 2:30 a.m.
1287. Unable to send a cablegram since the eleventh. Revolutionists have absolute control in Petrograd and are making strenuous efforts to preserve order, which successful except in rare instances. No cablegrams since your 1251 of the ninth, received March eleventh. Provisional government organized under the authority of the Douma which refused to obey the Emperor's order of the adjournment. Rodzianko, president of the Douma, issuing orders over his own signature. Ministry reported to have resigned. Ministers found are taken before the Douma, also many Russian officers and other high officials. Most if not all regiments ordered to Petrograd have joined the revolutionists after arrival. American colony safe. No knowledge of any injuries to American citizens.
On receipt of the preceding cable, Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, made its contents available to President Wilson (861.00/273):
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
My Dear Mr. President:
I enclose to you a very important cablegram which has just come from Petrograd, and also a clipping from the New York WORLD of this morning, in which a statement is made by Signor Scialoia, Minister without portfolio in the Italian Cabinet, which is significant in view of Mr. Francis' report. My own impression is that the Allies know of this matter and I presume are favorable to the revolutionists since the Court party has been, throughout the war, secretly pro-German.
The White House
The significant phrase in the Lansing-Wilson letter is "My own impression is that the Allies know of this matter and I presume are favorable to the revolutionists since the Court party has been, throughout the war, secretly pro-German." It will be recalled (chapter two) that Ambassador Dodd claimed that Charles R. Crane, of Westinghouse and of Crane Co. in New York and an adviser to President Wilson, was involved in this first revolution.
DOCUMENT NO. 2
Memorandum from Great Britain Foreign Office file FO 371/ 2999 (The War Russia), October 23, 1917, file no. 3743.
Personal (and) Secret.
Disquieting rumors have reached us from more than one source that Kerensky is in German pay and that he and his government are doing their utmost to weaken (and) disorganize Russia, so as to arrive at a situation when no other course but a separate peace would be possible. Do you consider that there is any ground for such insinuations, and that the government by refraining from any effective action are purposely allowing the Bolshevist elements to grow stronger?
If it should be a question of bribery we might be able to compete successfully if it were known how and through what agents it could be done, although it is not a pleasant thought.
Refers to information that Kerensky was in German pay.
DOCUMENT NO. 3
Consists of four parts:
(a) Cable from Ambassador Francis, April 27, 1917, in Petrograd to Washington, D.C., requesting transmission of a message from prominent Russian Jewish bankers to prominent Jewish bankers in New York and requesting their subscription to the Kerensky Liberty Loan (861.51/139).
(b) Reply from Louis Marshall (May 10, 1917) representing American Jews; he declined the invitation while expressing support for the American Liberty Loan (861.51/143).
(c) Letter from Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb (November 25, 1918) to State Department (Mr. Polk) relaying a message from Russian Jewish banker Kamenka calling for Allied help against the Bolsheviks ("because Bolshevist government does not represent Russian People").
(d) Cable from Kamenka relayed by Jacob Schiff.
Please deliver following to Jacob Schiff, Judge Brandies [sic], Professor Gottheil, Oscar Strauss [sic], Rabbi Wise, Louis Marshall and Morgenthau:
"We Russian Jews always believed that liberation of Russia meant also our liberation. Being deeply devoted to country we placed implicit trust temporary Government. We know the unlimited economic power of Russia and her immense natural resources and the emancipation we obtained will enable us to participate development country. We firmly believe that victorious finish of the war owing help our allies and United States is near.
Temporary Government issuing now new public loan of freedom and we feel our national duty support loan high vital for war and freedom. We are sure that Russia has an unshakeable power of public credit and will easily bear a.11 necessary financial burden. We formed special committee of Russian Jews for supporting loan consisting representatives financial, industrial trading circles and leading public men.
We inform you here of and request our brethren beyong [sic] the seas to support freedom of Russian which became now case humanity and world's civilization. We suggest you form there special committee and let us know of steps you may take Jewish committee support success loan of freedom. Boris Kamenka, Chairman, Baron Alexander Gunzburg, Henry Silosberg."
* * * * *
(b) Dear Mr. Secretary:
After reporting to our associates the result of the interview which you kindly granted to Mr. Morgenthau, Mr. Straus and myself, in regard to the advisability of calling for subscriptions to the Russian Freedom Loan as requested in the cablegram of Baron Gunzburg and Messrs. Kamenka and Silosberg of Petrograd, which you recently communicated to us, we have concluded to act strictly upon your advice. Several days ago we promised our friends at Petrograd an early reply to their call for aid. We would therefore greatly appreciate the forwarding of the following cablegram, provided its terms have your approval:
Don Azov Bank, Petrograd.
Our State Department which we have consulted regards any present attempt toward securing public subscriptions here for any foreign loans inadvisable; the concentration of all efforts for the success of American war loans being essential, thereby enabling our Government to supply funds to its allies at lower interest rates than otherwise possible. Our energies to help the Russian cause most effectively must therefore necessarily be directed to encouraging subscriptions to American Liberty Loan. Schiff, Marshall, Straus, Morgenthau, Wise, Gonheil."
You are of course at liberty to make any changes in the phraseology of this suggested cablegram which you may deem desirable and which will indicate that our failure to respond directly to the request that has come to us is due to our anxiety to make our activities most efficient.
May I ask you to send me a copy of the cablegram as forwarded, with a memorandum of the cost so that the Department may be promptly reimbursed.
I am, with
[sgd.] Louis Marshall
* * * * *
(c) Dear Mr. Polk:
Will you permit me to send you copy of a cablegram received this morning and which I think, for regularity's sake, should be brought to the notice of the Secretary of State or your good self, for such consideration as it might be thought well to give this.
Mr. Kamenka, the sender of this cablegram, is one of the leading men in Russia and has, I am informed, been financial advisor both of the Prince Lvoff government and of the Kerensky government. He is President of the Banque de Commerce de l'Azov Don of Petrograd, one of the most important financial institutions of Russia, but had, likely, to leave Russia with the advent of Lenin and his "comrades."
Let me take this opportunity to send sincere greetings to you and Mrs. Polk and to express the hope that you are now in perfect shape again, and that Mrs. Polk and the children are in good health.
[sgd.] Jacob H. Schiff
Hon. Frank L. Polk
Counsellor of the State Dept.
[Dated November 25, 1918]
* * * * *
The complete triumph of liberty and right furnishes me a new opportunity to repeat to you my profound admiration for the noble American nation. Hope to see now quick progress on the part of the Allies to help Russia in reestablishing order. Call your attention also to pressing necessity of replacing in Ukraine enemy troops at the very moment of their retirement in order to avoid Bolshevist devastation. Friendly intervention of Allies would be greeted everywhere with enthusiasm and looked upon as democratic action, because Bolshevist government does not represent Russian people. Wrote you September 19th. Cordial greetings.
This is an important series because it refutes the story of a Jewish bank conspiracy behind the Bolshevik Revolution. Clearly Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb was not interested in supporting the Kerensky Liberty Loan and Schiff went to the trouble of drawing State Department attention to Kamenka's pleas for Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks. Obviously Schiff and fellow banker Kamenka, unlike J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, were as unhappy about the Bolsheviks as they had been about the tsars.
DOCUMENT NO. 4
Memorandum from William Boyce Thompson (director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) to Lloyd George (prime minister of Great Britain), December 1917.
The Russian situation is lost and Russia lies entirely open to unopposed German exploitation unless a radical reversal of policy is at once undertaken by the Allies.
Because of their shortsighted diplomacy, the Allies since the Revolution have accomplished nothing beneficial, and have done considerable harm to their own interests.
The Allied representatives in Petrograd have been lacking in sympathetic understanding of the desire of the Russian people to attain democracy. Our representatives were first connected officially with the Czar's regime. Naturally they have been influenced by that environment.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Germans have conducted propaganda that has undoubtedly aided them materially in destroying the Government, in wrecking the army and in destroying trade and industry. If this continues unopposed it may result in the complete exploitation of the great country by Germany against the Allies.
I base my opinion upon a careful and intimate study of the situation both outside and inside official circles, during my stay in Petrograd between August 7 and November 29, 1917.
"What can be done to improve the situation of the Allies in Russia"?
The diplomatic personnel, both British and American, should be changed to one democratic in spirit and capable of sustaining democratic sympathy.
There should be erected a powerful, unofficial committee, with headquarters in Petrograd, to operate in the background, so to speak, the influence of which in matters of policy should be recognized and accepted by the DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR and MILITARY officials of the Allies. Such committee should be so composed in personnel as to make it possible to entrust to it wide discretionary powers. It would presumably undertake work in various channels. The nature of which will become obvious as the task progresses; it. would aim to meet all new conditions as they might arise.
It is impossible now to define at all completely the scope of this new Allied committee. I can perhaps assist to a better understanding of its possible usefulness and service by making a brief reference to the work which I started and which is now in the hands of Raymond Robins, who is well and favorably known to Col. Buchan a work which in the future will undoubtedly have to be somewhat altered and added to in order to meet new conditions. My work has been performed chiefly through a Russian "Committee on Civic Education" aided by Madame Breshkovsky, the Grandmother of the Revolution. She was assisted by Dr. David Soskice, the private secretary of the then Prime Minister Kerensky (now of London); Nicholas Basil Tchaikovsky, at one time Chairman of the Peasants Co-operative Society, and by other substantial social revolutionaries constituting the saving element of democracy as between the extreme "Right" of the official and property-owning class, and the extreme "Left" embodying the most radical elements of the socialistic parties. The aim of this committee, as stated in a cable message from Madame Breshkovsky to President Wilson, can be gathered from this quotation: "A widespread education is necessary to make Russia an orderly democracy. We plan to bring this education to the soldier in the camp, to the workman in the factory, to the peasant in the village." Those aiding in this work realized that for centuries the masses had been under the heel of Autocracy which had given them not protection but oppression; that a democratic form of government in Russian could be maintained only BY THE DEFEAT OF THE GERMAN ARMY; BY THE OVERTHROW OF GERMAN AUTOCRACY. Could free Russia, unprepared for great governmental responsibilities, uneducated, untrained, be expected long to survive with imperial Germany her next door neighbor? Certainly not. Democratic Russia would become speedily the greatest war prize the world has even known.
The Committee designed to have an educational center in each regiment of the Russian army, in the form of Soldiers' Clubs. These clubs were organized as rapidly as possible, and lecturers were employed to address the soldiers. The lecturers were in reality teachers, and it should be remembered that there is a percentage of 90 among the soldiers of Russia who can neither read nor write. At the time of the Bolshevik outbreak many of these speakers were in the field making a fine impression and obtaining excellent results. There were 250 in the city of Moscow alone. It was contemplated by the Committee to have at least 5000 of these lecturers. We had under publication many newspapers of the "A B C" class, printing matter in the simplest style, and were assisting about 100 more. These papers carried the appeal for patriotism, unity and co-ordination into the homes of the workmen and the peasants.
After the overthrow of the last Kerensky government we materially aided the dissemination of the Bolshevik literature, distributing it through agents and by aeroplanes to the German army. If the suggestion is permissible, it might be well to consider whether it would not be desirable to have this same Bolshevik literature sent into Germany and Austria across the West and Italian fronts.
The presence of a small number of Allied troops in Petrograd would certainly have done much to prevent the overthrow of the Kerensky government in November. I should like to suggest for your consideration, if present conditions continue, the concentration of all the British and French Government employees in Petrograd, and if the necessity should arise it might be formed into a fairly effective force. It might be advisable even to pay a small sum to a Russian force. There is also a large body of volunteers recruited in Russia, many of them included in the Intelligentsia of "Center" class, and these have done splendid work in the trenches. They might properly be aided.
If you ask for a further programme I should say that it is impossible to give it now. I believe that intelligent and courageous work will still prevent Germany from occupying the field to itself and thus exploiting Russia at the expense of the Allies. There will be many ways in which this service can be rendered which will become obvious as the work progresses.
Following this memorandum the British war cabinet changed its policy to one of tepid pro-Bolshevism. Note that Thompson admits to distribution of Bolshevik literature by his agents. The confusion over the date on which Thompson left Russia (he states November 29th in this document) is cleared up by the Pirnie papers at the Hoover Institution. There were several changes of travel plans and Thompson was still in Russia in early December. The memorandum was probably written in Petrograd in late November.
DOCUMENT NO. 5
Letter dated May 9, 1918, from Felix Frankfurter (then special assistant to the secretary of war) to Santeri Nuorteva (alias for Alexander Nyberg), a Bolshevik agent in the United States. Listed as Document No. 1544 in the Lusk Committee files, New York:
May 9, 1918
My dear Mr. Nhorteva [sic]:
Thank you very much for your letter of the 4th. I knew you would understand the purely friendly and wholly unofficial character of our talk, and I appreciate the prompt steps you have taken to correct your Sirola* letter. Be wholly assured that nothing has transpired which diminishes my interest in the questions which you present. Quite the contrary. I am much interested in** the considerations you are advancing and for the point of view you are urging. The issues*** at stake are the interests that mean much for the whole world. To meet them adequately we need all the knowledge and wisdom we can possibly get****.
Santeri Nuorteva, Esq.
Sirola was a Bolshevik and commissar in Finland.
** Original text, "continually grateful to you for."
*** Original text, "interests."
**** Original text added "these days."
This letter by Frankfurter was written to Nuorteva/Nyberg, a Bolshevik agent in the United States, at a time when Frankfurter held an official position as special assistant to Secretary of War Baker in the War Department. Apparently Nyberg was willing to change a letter to commissar "Sirola" according to Frankfurter's instructions. The Lusk Committee acquired the original Frankfurter draft including Frankfurter's changes and not the letter received by Nyberg.
THE SOVIET BUREAU IN 1920
|Representa tive of USSR
|Ludwig C.A.K. MARTENS
|V-P of Weinberg & Posner Engineer ing (120 Broadway)
(1) U.S. Committee on Public Information
(2) Former aide to Colonel House
|Private secre tary to NUOR TEVA
|School in Russia
|Lt. Col. Boris Tagueeff Roustam BEK
|Military critic on Daily Express (London)
|International Oxy gen Company
|Gary School League
|Nora G. SMITHMAN
|Ford Peace Expedition
|War Trade Board
|Wilfred R. HUMPHRIES
|American Red Cross
|Leo A. HUEBSCH
|D. H. DUBROWSKY
|Dudley Field MALONE
|George Cordon BATTLE
|Dept. of Economics & Statistics
|Isaac A. HOURWICH
|U.S. Bureau of Census
|Editorial Staff of Soviet Russia
|Jacob w. HARTMANN
College of City
of New York
U.S., House, Conditions in Russia (Committee on Foreign Affairs), 66th Cong., 3rd sess. (Washington, D.C., 1921).
|See also British list in U.S. State Department Decimal File, 316-22-656, which also has the name of Julius Hammer.
DOCUMENT NO. 7
Letter from National City Bank of New York to the U.S. Treasury, April 15, 1919, with regard to Ludwig Martens and his associate Dr. Julius Hammer (316-118).
City Bank of New York
New York, April 15, 1919
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
Dear Mr. Rathbone:
I beg to hand you herewith photographs of two documents which we have received this morning by registered mail from a Mr. L. Martens who claims to be the representative in the United States of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, and witnessed by a Dr. Julius Hammer for the Acting Director of the Financial Department.
You will see from these documents that there is a demand being made upon us for any and all funds on deposit with us in the name of Mr. Boris Bakhmeteff, alleged Russian Ambassador in the United States, or in the name of any individual, committee, or mission purporting to act in behalf of the Russian Government in subordination to Mr. Bakhmeteff or directly.
We should be very glad to receive from you whatever advice or instructions you may care to give us in this matter.
[sgd.] J. H. Carter,
The significance of this letter is related to the long-time association (1917-1974) of the Hammer family with the Soviets.
DOCUMENT NO. 8
Letter dated August 3, 1920, from Soviet courier "Bill" Bobroff to Kenneth Durant, former aide to Colonel House. Taken from Bobroff by U.S. Department of Justice.
Bureau of Investigation,
15 Park Row, New York City, N. Y.,
August 10, 1920
Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Dear Sir: Confirming telephone conversation with Mr. Ruch today, I am transmitting herewith original documents taken from the effects of B. L. Bobroll, steamship Frederick VIII.
The letter addressed Mr. Kenneth Durant, signed by Bill, dated August 3, 1920, together with the translation from "Pravda," July 1, 1920, signed by Trotzki, and copies of cablegrams were found inside the blue envelope addressed Mr. Kenneth Durant, 228 South Nineteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa. This blue envelope was in turn sealed inside the white envelope attached.
Most of the effects of Mr. Bobroff consisted of machinery catalogues, specifications, correspondence regarding the shipment of various equipment, etc., to Russian ports. Mr. Bobroff was closely questioned by Agent Davis and the customs authorities, and a detailed report of same will be sent to Washington.
G. F. Lamb,
LETTER TO KENNETH DURANT
Dear Kenneth: Thanks for your most welcome letter. I have felt very much cut off and hemmed in, a feeling which has been sharply emphasized by recent experiences. I have felt distressed at inability to force a different attitude toward the bureau and to somehow get funds to you. To cable $5,000 to you, as was done last week, is but a sorry joke. I hope the proposal to sell gold in America, about which we have been cabling recently, will soon be found practicable. Yesterday we cabled asking if you could sell 5,000,000 rubles at a minimum of 45 cents, present market rate being 51.44 cents. That would net at least $2,225,000. L's present need is $2,000,000 to pay Niels Juul & Co., in Christiania, for the first part of the coal shipment from America to Vardoe, Murmansk, and Archangel. The first ship is nearing Vardoe and the second left New York about July 28. Altogether, Niels Juul & Co., or rather the Norges' Bank, of Christiania, on their and our account, hold $11,000,000 gold rubles of ours, which they themselves brought from Reval to Christiania, as security for our coal order and the necessary tonnage, but the offers for purchase of this gold that they have so far been able to get are very poor, the best being $575 per kilo, whereas the rate offered by the American Mint or Treasury Department is now $644.42, and considering the large sum involved it would be a shame to let it go at too heavy a loss. I hope that ere you get this you will have been able to effect the sale, at the same time thus getting a quarter of a million dollars or more for the bureau. If we can't in some way pay the $2,000,000 in Christiania, that was due four days ago, within a very short time, Niels Juul & Co. will have the right to sell our gold that they now hold at the best price then obtainable, which, as stated above, is quite low.
We don't know yet how the Canadian negotiations are going on. We understand Nuorteva turned over the strings to Shoen when N.'s arrest seemed imminent. We don't at this writing know where Nuorteva is. Our guess is that after his enforced return to England from Esbjerg, Denmark, Sir Basil Thomson had him shipped aboard a steamer for Reval, but we have not yet heard from Reval that he has arrived there, and we certainly would hear from Goukovski or from N. himself. Humphries saw Nuorteva at Esbjerg, and is himself in difficulties with the Danish police because of it. All his connections are being probed for; his passport has been taken away: he has been up twice for examination, and it looks as if he will be lucky if he escapes deportation. It was two weeks ago that Nuorteva arrived at Esbjerg, 300 miles from here, but having no Danish visa, the Danish authorities refused to permit him to land, and he was transferred to a steamer due to sail at 8 o'clock the following morning. By depositing 200 kroner he was allowed shore leave for a couple of hours. Wanting to get Copenhagen on long-distance wire and having practically no more money, he once more pawned that gold watch of his for 25 kroner, therewith getting in touch with Humphries, who within half an hour jumped aboard the night train, slept on the floor, and arrived at Esbjerg at 7:30. Humphries found Nuorteva, got permission from the captain to go aboard, had 20 minutes with N., then had to go ashore and the boat sailed. Humphries was then invited to the police office by two plain-clothes men, who had been observing the proceedings. He was closely questioned, address taken, then released, and that night took train back to Copenhagen. He sent telegrams to Ewer, of Daily Herald, Shoen, and to Kliskho, at 128 New Bond Street, urging them to be sure and meet Nuorteva's boat, so that N. couldn't again be spirited away, but we don't know yet just what happened. The British Government vigorously denied that they had any intention of sending him to Finland. Moscow has threatened reprisals if anything happens to him. Meantime, the investigation of H. has begun. He was called upon at his hotel by the police, requested to go to headquarters (but not arrested), and we understand that his case is now before the minister of justice. Whatever may be the final outcome, Humphries comments upon the reasonable courtesy shown him, contrasting it with the ferocity of the Red raids in America.
He found that at detective headquarters they knew of some of his outgoing letters and telegrams.
I was interested in your favorable comment upon the Krassin interview of Tobenken's (you do not mention the Litvinoff one), because I had to fight like a demon with L. to get the opportunities for Tobenken. Through T. arrived with a letter from Nuorteva, as also did Arthur Ruhl, L. brusquely turned down in less than one minute the application T. was making to go into Russia, would hardly take time to hear him, saying it was impossible to allow two correspondents from the same paper to enter Russia. He gave a visa to Ruhl, largely because of a promise made last summer to Ruhl by L. Ruhl then went off to Reval, there to await the permission that L. had cabled asking Moscow to give. Tobenken, a nervous, almost a broken man because of his turn down, stayed here. I realized the mistake that had been made by the snap judgment, and started in on the job of getting it changed. Cutting a long story short, I got him to Reval with a letter to Goukovsky from L. In the meantime Moscow refused Ruhl, notwithstanding L's visa. L. was maddened at affront to his visa, and insisted that it be honored. It was, and Ruhl prepared to leave. Suddenly word came from Moscow to Ruhl revoking the permission and to Litvinoff, saying that information had reached Moscow that Ruhl was in service of State Department. At time of writing, both Tobenken and Ruhl are in Reval, stuck.
I told L. this morning of the boat leaving tomorrow and of the courier B. available, asked him if he had anything to write to Martens, offered to take it in shorthand for him, but no, he said he had nothing to write about that I might perhaps send duplicates of our recent cables to Martens.
Kameneff passed by here on a British destroyer en route to London, and didn't stop off here at all, and Krassin went direct from Stockholm. Of the negotiations, allied and Polish, and of the general situation you know about as much as we do here. L's negotiations with the Italians have finally resulted in establishing of mutual representation. Our representative, Vorovsky, has already gone to Italy and their representative, M. Gravina, is en route to Russia. We have just sent two ship loads of Russian wheat to Italy from Odessa.
Give my regards to the people of your circle that I know. With all good wishes to you.
The batch of letters you sent 5 Cranbourne Road, Charlton cum Hardy, Manchester, has not yet arrived.
L's recommendation to Moscow, since M. asked to move to Canada, is that M. should be appointed there, and that N., after having some weeks in Moscow acquainting himself first hand, should be appointed representative to America.
L. is sharply critical of the bureau for giving too easily visιs and recommendations. He was obviously surprised and incensed when B. reached here with contracts secured in Moscow upon strength of letters given to him by M. The later message from M. evidently didn't reach Moscow. What L. plans to do about it I don't know. I would suggest that M. cable in cipher his recommendation to L. in this matter. L. would have nothing to do with B. here. Awkward situation may be created.
L. instanced also the Rabinoff recommendation.
Two envelopes, Mr. Kenneth Durant, 228 South Nineteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.
SOURCE: U.S. State Department Decimal File, 316-119-458/64.
NOTE: IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUALS
|William (Bill) L. BOBROFF
|Soviet courier and agent. Operated Bobroff Foreign Trading and Engineering Company of Milwaukee. Invented the voting system used in the Wisconsin Legilature.
|Aide to Colonel House; see text.
|Employed by International Oxygen Co., owned by Heller, a prominent financier and Communist.
|Soviet agent, reporter for London Daily Herald.
|Soviet agent in Scandinavia
|Also known as Alexander Nyberg, first Soviet representative in United States; see text.
|Sir Basil THOMPSON
|Chief of British Intelligence
|Wilfred Humphries, associated with Martens and Litvinoff, member of Red Cross in Russia.
|Bolshevik commissar of trade and labor, former head of Siemens-Schukert in Russia.
This letter suggests close ties between Bobroff and Durant.
DOCUMENT NO. 9
Memorandum referring to a request from Davison (Morgan partner) to Thomas Thacher (Wall Street attorney associated with the Morgans) and passed to Dwight Morrow (Morgan partner), April 13, 1918.
April 13th, 1918.
American Ambassador to England,
Several days ago I received a request from Mr. H. P. Davison, Chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross, to confer with Lord Northcliffe regarding the situation in Russia, and then to proceed to Paris for other conferences. Owing to Lord Northcliffe's illness I have not been able to confer with him, but am leaving with Mr. Dwight W. Morrow, who is now staying at the Berkeley Hotel, a memorandum of the situation which Mr. Morrow will submit to Lord Northcliffe on the latter's return to London.
For your information and the information of the Department I enclose to you, herewith, a copy of the memorandum.
[sgd.] Thomas D. Thacher.
Lord Northcliffe had just been appointed director of propaganda. This is interesting in the light of William B. Thompson's subsidizing of Bolshevik propaganda and his connection with the Morgan-Rockefeller interests.
DOCUMENT NO. 10
This document is a memorandum from D.C. Poole, Division of Russian Affairs in the Department of State, to the secretary of state concerning a conversation with Mr. M. Oudin of General Electric.
May 29, 1922
Mr. Oudin, of the General Electric Company, informed me this morning that his company feels that the time is possibly approaching to begin conversations with Krassin relative to a resumption of business in Russia. I told him that it is the view of the Department that the course to be pursued in this matter by American firms is a question of business judgment and that the Department would certainly interpose no obstacles to an American firm resuming operations in Russia on any basis which the firm considered practicable.
He said that negotiations are now in progress between the General Electric Company and the Allgemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft for a resumption of the working agreement which they had before the war. He expects that the agreement to be made will include a provision for cooperation of Russia.
DCP D.C. Poole
This is an important document as it relates to the forthcoming resumption of relations with Russia by an important American company. It illustrates that the initiative came from the company, not from the State Department, and that no consideration was given to the effect of transfer of General Electric technology to a self-declared enemy. This GE agreement was the first step down a road of major technical transfers that led directly to the deaths of 100,000 Americans and countless allies.