Foreign Relations of the United States : 1918 The Conclusion of the Peace of Brest Litovsk
The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State

File No. 763.T2119/1061

The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State


PETROGRAD, January 1, 1918, .5 p.m.

[Received January 2, 10.50 p.m.]

2172. Robins entered Embassy yesterday afternoon most excited, saying had just left Trotsky and Krylenko enraged because [they] claimed to have discovered " conspiracy " of Germans and had decided to sever all negotiations. Robins wished authority to tell Trotsky I would recommend prompt effective assistance in such event, which I readily granted. Immediately called on British and French Ambassadors whom told of report, withholding identity informant by Robins's request but vouched for its truth; they approved my action. Robins said rupture would occur at conference at 8 o'clock but Judson informed me after midnight that Robins had told him conference opens to-day. Robins, Judson, Sisson, visited me to-day, urged that I prepare cable recommending prompt assistance to which I agreed. Shall send later when hear rupture consummated. Meantime suppose Robins will tell Trotsky of my agreement and latter will use same for securing better terms from Germans. " Conspiracy " undeveloped. Cannot imagine however any fit application of such term unless it be that Trotsky and Krylenko suspect Germans also dickering with Russian reactionaries or possibly with Ukraine Rada. Shall take any step think necessary to prevent separate peace but am inclined to think that if such unavoidable it should favor Germans to extent possible in order to make it the more unacceptable not only to Allies but to pacifists and proletariat throughout the world. Do you agree?


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