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ment, is filling neutral countries with rumors that Finland is being evacuated, Kaiser has abdicated, etc. Not unlikely part of a definite policy to make the Allies slow up and to dull enthusiasm for the Liberty Loan.
Please investigate further how far evacuation of Finland by German troops is a fact. Your report tallies with other information tending to show that Germans are withdrawing troops from the east for concentration on the west. This Government's attitude regarding food supply unchanged until new facts are established.
File No. 860d.48/160a
The Secretary of State to the Commercial Adviser of the British
WASHINGTON, November 16, 1918. MY DEAR SIR RICHARD: I have referred the Foreign Office telegram of October 28, 1918, which you handed me, to the War Trade Board and find that the Board approves the sending of 5,000 tons of flour to Finland, provided Scandinavian tonnage can be secured. This Government believes, however, that however small any initial shipment of food supplies to Finland may be, we should be prepared to follow it with a steady flow of materials, which will demonstrate that what we do to feed the Finnish population is not a mere matter of temporary expediency.
I shall be glad to know how your Government views this matter and hope we may reach a decision with as little delay as possible. Our view is that the withdrawal of the German troops removes the last obstacle to organizing definite measures to feed the Finnish population regardless of party, as a definite and not temporary undertaking which it may prove possible later to extend into northern Russia, as soon as that can be done without committing ourselves to the Bolshevik authorities. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
FRANK L. POLK
SERBIAN RELIEF File No. 872.51/23 The Serbian Minister (Michaïlovitch) to the Assistant Secretary of
WASHINGTON, May 8, 1917. DEAR MR. PHILLIPS: In connection with our conversation of yeserday I beg to send you the enclosed memorandum, compiled from
1 Not printed.
FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1918, SUPPLEMENT 2
are ready to supply the northeastern districts of the country with food on the condition that they be evacuated by the Germans. In this way the revictualing would spread to all parts relinquished by the Germans.
On receipt of that proposition forwarded to it by the Minister of France at Stockholm, my Government replied that it could not be accepted in that form, that the position of the Allies on that question had been clearly stated in the note handed to M. de Grippenberg and that it is deemed expedient to adhere to the terms of that note which places the following conditions on the revictualing of Finland : termination of the treaty concluded by that country with Germany in evident violation of its neutrality; a guarantee that the imported foodstuffs will be for the exclusive use of the Finnish population; a pledge not to tolerate any attempt upon the Russian adjoining provinces. As viewed by my Government, the partial revictualing proposed by the consuls would make it possible for the Germans momentarily to withdraw from certain parts to which they would return afterward.
Furthermore, it is of the highest importance to bring into Finland a conviction that Germany's defeat is assured and thus change its state of mind. Firmness on the part of the Allies may go far toward establishing that needed conviction.
I was glad to report to my Government, on the strength of the oral remarks made to me on the subject by Your Excellency, that the American Government's views of the question were on the whole like its own. Be pleased to accept [etc.]
File No. 8600.48/24
The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Jusserand)
WASHINGTON, September 20, 1918. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to your note of August 29, 1918, in regard to furnishing food supplies to Finland, and beg to inform you that after considering this question again, the United States does not see its way clear to modify its original decision that, quite aside from the difficulty of securing necessary tonnage space, it does not seem either practicable or advisable to assist the Finnish population with food supplies as long as the existing authorities are so strongly influenced by Germany or while they permit Finnish territory to serve as a base of operation for German troops in military undertakings against the Allies.
See telegram of Aug. 21, 1918, from the Consul at Helsingfors, and Department's reply of Aug. 28, Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. II, pp. 806 and
V: RELIEF OPERATIONS
File No. 8600,48/19 The Department of State to the Swedish Legation 1
The memorandum dated August 8, 1918, handed to the Depart. ment of State by the Swedish Minister, stated that owing to the serious food situation in Finland, the three Scandinavian countries have felt themselves compelled to address the Governments of the United States and Great Britain with a view of possibly effecting an importation into Finland of about 8,000 tons of breadstuffs which are immediately needed there, and that in the event that the American and British Governments would favorably consider such an appeal, the Governments of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are prepared, if such should be desired, to control the distribution of the cereals thus granted so as to insure that they would be used exclusively for the benefit of the Finnish population.
The United States Government, fully appreciating the humanitarian nature of the proposed steps, feels compelled to reply that the requirements of the Allies in respect to both food and tonnage would in any case have made it difficult for the United States to accede to this request, however anxious to do everything in its power to relieve the distress in Finland. As long as Finland continues to be occupied by German military forces, which are constantly increasing in numbers, and while the Finnish Government is entirely under German influence, it is impossible for the United States Government to send food to a country which may, regardless of guarantees to the contrary, be used as a base for enemy operations against the Allies.
WASHINGTON, August 17, 1918.
File No. 8600.48/24
The French Ambassador (Jusserand) to the Secretary of State
[Translation] WASHINGTON, August 29, 1918.
[Received August 31.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: As I had the honor to tell Your Excellency in our conversation yesterday, the Allied consuls at Helsingfors have submitted to their respective Governments a proposition to cause a note to be published in the Scandinavian press showing that the Entente Powers, harboring no hostile sentiment toward Finland,
The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Danish and Norwegian Legations.
my previous pro memorias of April 17 and 30. This memorandum points out more clearly the reasons for which Serbia is hopeful of United States' support. The second copy is for Mr. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury.
I am convinced that a favourable solution of the Serbian question would have the greatest effect on the whole of the Slav race and especially on Russia in this fateful moment. I think that United States should not fail to produce this favourable effect which would undoubtedly have good moral and political influence on the coming events.
I therefore beg of you to use all your influence in order to contribute to the success of this worthy cause. Yours very sincerely,
The Serbian Legation to the Department of State The great United States of America, in entering the war declared that they stand ready to offer assistance to those who fight against the conquering designs of the Central Powers, to insure with their cooperation the victory for the principles of justice and equality, and to assure the existence and the rights of small peoples. This assistance, therefore, is to be financial, military and political. Balkan, and its Serbian question, deserve in that regard a special attention of the United States. The Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian race, the greater part of which was until now under the despotic domination of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, desires to be united and to create its own state, together with the autonomous kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro. The efforts of this race manifested themselves in a political movement among the Southern Slavs in the Habsburg Monarchy, and this movement was one of the causes of this great war.
The principle of nationality, and especially the principle of the rights of small peoples, brought out the question of the very existence of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which represents the dynastical interests of the Habsburg House.
The solution of the Serbian question will be one of the main problems at the future peace conferences, because of the existence of an independent Serbian state, with which the whole Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian race, now under the Habsburg Dynasty, demands to be united. The United States of America will naturally participate in the solution of this question; its great democratic principles, demanding a complete and free development of individuals, same as racial groups, must assure the liberation of small peoples. The Serbian people expect its liberation from that participation, and hope to receive help which will enable them to recover quickly from the terrible consequence of this long and barbaric war.
1 Pro memorias not printed.
The noble expressions of President Wilson, therefore, were greeted with the greatest enthusiasm by the Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian race, by the free parts of our people, same as by those who are still under enemy's domination. These expressions have recently caused great hostile outbursts of feeling in the Croatian Diet in Agram, notwithstanding the oppression of the Austrian military régime.
Serbia's sacrifices, which she endured during the first two Balkanic wars of 1912 and 1913, are well known; this third war, so savagely provoked by Austria-Hungary, which is continuing for almost three years, brought destruction to the land and to the people. It is not exaggeration to assert, that Serbia lost more than a million people. Her enemies systematically destroy her people, using all means and all ways. Villages and cities are ruined, the land devastated, the live stock carried away, the industrial establishments looted. Serbia is to-day like a desert. The peace will bring liberty but no welfare, because there will remain another enemy: poverty and destitution. The salvation of the Serbian people depends upon the quick assistance which will be offered to them immediately when peace is concluded. This assistance should be prepared now. It can be given by the United States in the form of a loan and a credit, upon the same basis as will be given to France and England. Just a very small part of the great loan of three billion dollars would assure the future of a nation, whose lands will soon become a rich source of all kinds of products. A loan or credit of a hundred million dollars is the first help, for the reconstruction of the destroyed firesides, for the quick acquirement of agricultural implements and live stock, for the obtaining of food for a people in order to save them from perishing and to prepare them for a life of progress and civilisation. This noble and humane aid can be undertaken to-day by the United States only and they would thereby gain the appreciation and gratitude of the whole Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian race.
The United States when entering upon the war decided to do everything to hasten its end and therefore-first of all—helped the Entente Allies financially. England, France and Italy received loans and a promise of future financial support. Serbia also is fighting with the Allies on the Salonica front. The Serbian Army, Government and Administration are kept up by the Allies, by their war credits, but now-a-days the war credits comprise more than merely the military expenses. All belligerent powers are obliged, at the same time, to support the families of the fallen warriors, invalids and their families, the population of the provinces devastated by the war, the prisoners of war and those interned in the enemy countries, as well as those who fled from the provinces invaded by the foe. All