Saturday, December 17, 2011

"shaky basis of U.S. representation"

from: Alternative Paths: Soviets and Americans, 1917-1920David W. McFadden, Oxford University Press, Mar 25, 1993
Before Chicherin advised Radek further regarding his strategy vis-à-vis the Allies, another issue complicated the situation. Not only had British troops at Murmansk begun to advance toward the interior, in violation of understandings given by Lockhart to Chicherin regarding the purpose of that landing, but the British, French, and American representatives in Murmansk had signed a treaty of defense with the Murmansk Regional Soviet. This soviet had defiantly broken with the Bolsheviks after Trotsky had at first given his permission for them to seek Allied assistance against the Germans and then rescinded it. The treaty—signed July 6 by Rear Admiral Thomas Kemp, British commanding officer of Allied troops at Murmansk; French Captain Petit; and the Reverend Jesse Halsey, United States YMCA representative in Murmansk—assured Alexei Yuryev, the chairman of the Murmansk Regional Soviet, of Allied support against both the Germans and Bolsheviks. Despite the unorthodox nature of its negotiation and the rather shaky basis of U.S. representation in its signing, it was officially approved by the U.S. government in October 1918, and served as the legal basis for American intervention in the Murmansk region.

Chicherin sent a protest against the United States treaty with Murmansk to Poole on July 13, and immediately made it public. Even in this note, he still insisted that the Bolsheviks put a high value on the “friendly attitude” of the United States and hoped “that the friendly American government will not continue to follow the road of violating the territorial integrity and elementary rights of the Soviet Russian Republic.”

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