Skip to main content

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED  October 4, 1918.

ORIGIN:   Opnav, Washington. (Sec. Navy)          Serial No.254.


     2542. Following for your information and for guidance of McCully1 gives summary of policy of State Department re Russia.

“Ambassador2 has been instructed that Government of United States does not recognise Bolsheviki either de jure or defacto as governments[.] Ambassador consequently has been instructed to have no official relations with Bolsheviki authority.

     For protection of American lives and property American Consuls in Russia have been allowed to come in contact with Bolsheviki authorities for conference and in some cases for correspondence; it has been understood clearly that such action created no color of recognition. This course taken by Consuls is in accordance with general principles that particular field of Consul’s duties requiring his dealings with established authorities wherever he may be. Ambassador has been advised in regard to latitude allowed consuls.

     In general, Ambassador has been instructed that this government regards Russia and the Russian people as Allies and as co-belligerents and that Bolsheviki movement has not modified purposes of United States wherever it may be able to do so to assist Russian people in maintaining liberty they have gained by the Revolution and becoming masters of their own affairs.”

     Other minor features can be obtained in conferring with Ambassador.

     In his relations with other Governments McCully is to be guided by orders and instructions now on USS OLYMPIA and under which Bierer is acting.3 13003. 2542


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 678.

Footnote 1:Capt. Newton A. McCully, Commander, United States Forces in Russia.

Footnote 2: United States Chargé d’Affiares ad interim at Moscow David R. Francis. Officially, there was no U.S. ambassador to Russia, since the American government did not recognize the Bolshevik regime. However, Francis had served as ambassador until the November Revolutions of 1917 and was functionally still acting in that role.

Footnote 3: Capt. Bion B. Bierer, Commander, Olympia. Olympia was at this time part of an Allied force in Russia occupying Murmansk and Archangel.

Related Content