Poole to Lansing on Soviet government weakness, and intervention in support of bourgeois leaders
File No. 861.00/1982
Vologda, June 9, 1918, 6 p.m.
[Received June 24, 2:27 a.m.]
En route Vologda after four busy profitable days in Petrograd where I have received hearty welcome and return commended by all. City virtually has no municipal government, no police, no visible disturbances and no robberies because valuables all removed or sold.
I am convinced more thoroughly if possible that the Soviet government is only a shell. I conferred secretly with reliable member government who confidently stated entire armed force of Soviet government in all Russia less than 25,000 including Red Army and Red Guard, pay of which recently reduced from 300 rubles to 150 per month; this estimate confirmed from all available sources. I talked with people representing all classes and did not find one favoring present government and regret to say that every one favored monarchy. Several intelligent patriotic Russians who supported revolution asserted that new Constituent Assembly unadvisable as people tired of elections and will not vote. Furthermore 80 per cent cannot read and all disgusted with Bolshevik government which have considered democratic. Bolshevism not only undoubtedly killed world-wide social revolution for half century but fear has irreparably injured democracy in Russia for a generation or until masses are educated and cause pendulum to swing violently in opposite direction.
Industrial leaders including bankers, professional men, landed proprietors, commercial men, generally, have formed combination regardless of party to appeal again to redeem Russia before industry ruined by Bolshevism. This combination with headquarters Moscow, rapidly extending though out Russia, favors Allies but will treat with Germany for establishment of strong government if Allies support Soviet government or fail to show responsiveness or to manifest disposition to assist in restoration order and any longer delay by Allies is dangerous.
Documents on US Foreign Policy in Russia
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