Poole to Lansing on Lenin's efforts to remedy famine and need for Allied intervention before German

File No. 861.00/2070

Petrograd, June 8, 1918, 11 p.m.
[Received June 16, 10:30 a.m.]


    Recognizing the critical character of the present food shortage Lenin is desperately urging his supporters to hold out through the next two months for the procuring of a more certain tenure of power as soon as the corps are in. Speaking this week at an extraordinary third session of the Central Executive Committee, called especially to discuss food question, he launched a movement for sending units of workingmen into the villages to seize grain. He says there is plenty of food in the country but it is hoarded by the rich villagers. This is an exaggeration for political purposes. The rich villager hardly exists in reality. A great many peasants have some grain and a few have none at all. The attempt to distinguish rich and poor, identifying the former with the small bourgeois, is intended to conceal fact which the food crisis is making daily more apparent, namely that the interests of the workingmen and the peasants are opposed. The so-called government of workingmen and peasant now finds itself under the difficult necessity of appeasing hungry workingmen on the one side and on the other side of alienation what support remains to them among the peasants by an attempted forcible seizure of grain. The situation is aggravated by the conflict with the commissariat [Czecho-Slovaks?] which has isolated central Russia from the grain stores of western Siberia and the Ufa and adjacent governments, and has stopped through navigation on the [Volga?]. In these circumstances the Bolshevik government could hardly be expected to survive, were it not that the disorganization of the country has so far assumed the proportions of a terrible catastrophe that no other party cares to attempt the management of affairs without direct foreign assistance. The question of the immediate future there [fore] is, will Germany act before the Allies do, and in what manner.

    [Second, third, and forth paragraphs not yet transcribed]


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