Skip to main content

Rear Admiral Newton A. McCully, Special Agent in Southern Russia, Department of State, and Senior Naval Officer Present, Odessa, to Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby

Constantinople, March 12, 1920.   

[Received March 16-7:15 a.m.]

     202. Following from McCully, Novorossiisk.

     “28. March 12, 11 a.m. Remaining in Novorossiisk are about 5,000 people and in Crimea are about 20,000 others all of most intelligent class and of estimable character who are or who firmly believe themselves to be in danger of [omission] or maltreatment if Bolsheviks take charge, a contingency imminent in both places. The British are doing what they can to evacuate these people but have asked our assistance. For humane considerations, for our own self respect, for even reasons of future self interest and in accordance with principles of humanity often proclaimed by the United States, I think it is important that the United States should take part in the work of evacuating these people, such work to include only women and children and other persons meriting consideration but not capable of bearing arms.

     Hosts [upon?] taking possession the Red forces show self-restraint and a desire to maintain order. Most of these people would desire to return to Russia so their maintenance would not be necessary for any prolonged period. I urgently recommend to United States secure use of one of the Greek islands, send at once such naval vessels as may be available, and as quickly as possible send [garbled groups] transport provided with housing facilities and provisions for three months for 10,000 people, placing these means preferably under navy control working in cooperation with American Red Cross. The estimated cost would be approximately $1,000,000 which would be a modest price to pay for the good will of Russia which may be of such great importance to our country in the future. McCully.”


Source Note: Printed, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1920, Volume III, 585-6.