Kent University professor Andrew Williams did concur, however, that there was something entirely incongruous in the historical record of the mighty shadow cast by an all too cumbersome Russian debt problem that apparently preoccupied Kelley and Bullitt. Historian Andrew Williams does well to show its utter superficiality, in fact, its irrelevance. In terms of holding any serious weight as an obtrusive government debt owed the United States, it counts for nothing except for calling into question the positioning of National City determined to leverage the Czarist debt and tie up the conundrum of US-Soviet relations.

What a bluff in the name of patriotism and honor! It’s not exactly clear if the funds owed City were a private or government debt. As it turns out Roosevelt could care less about City, or ever seeing the money again. His “Game” was for the long haul and keeping the bankers happy while getting over short-term obstacles, politically. Roosevelt was a rotten banker, and knew next to nothing about monetary policy, but not unlike his counterpart in the Kremlin thrived at winning on the great chessboard of power politics. In a section titled “Soviet indebtedness to the United States, 1917-1933”, Williams calculated in real terms the Russian-US debt, writing “The American Government was nowhere near as financially embarrassed by the Bolshevik Revolution as were its Allies.” Once that is understood, in the context of Czarist alliance with London and Paris in the Great War against Germany, with four years of bloody stalemate and the Allies supplied and financed by Morgan, its clear that America was dealt a royal flush. US Ambassador Francis in Petrograd estimated America’s loans to Czarist Russia at $187 million “to which had to be added the credit of $100 million agreed on 23 August 1917 and a further $75 million dollars to pay the Russian army and navy, figures which seem to have been accepted as broadly accurate as late as 1933”. Not quite so. Well, not exactly.

The Soviets immediately renounce and reject claims to repay the Kerensky funds once they had been disbursed. Williams added, “In a memo to Colonel House in Paris in February 1919 to prepare him for the forthcoming discussions with the Bolsheviks at Prinkipo, the Treasury put the ‘direct interest’ of the United States Government at ‘approximately $190,000,000 in the Russian situation’… The Treasury was quite aware of the unusual political implications of the debt crisis with Russia and most worried lest the Allies not show a united face in dealing with it.” Once the Allies and Germany defaulted on war debts, in the depressed economic environment after 1929, the debt repayment was not going to happen. (Andrew J. Williams, “Soviet indebtedness to the United States, 1917-1933”, “The USA and Russia, 1920-1932”, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 21)

And Andrew Williams looked more closely into the problem of “individual US investors who risked losing a lot of money. This problem was immediately highlighted by the need to pay the coupons on $50,000,000 of bonds held by the National City Bank of New York (then the biggest bank in the US) due 10 January 1919.” The State Department then waives payments of interest on outstanding bonds as not “advisable”. Further, the sum owed private individuals was unclear. A story appearing early February 1934 in the NY Times accounted for a thousand claims totaling $337,223,288 representing such Consortium capitalist giants as Westinghouse, International Harvester, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Equitable Life Assurance, Standard Oil, Vacuum Oil, Otis Elevator.

Much later in June 1939 Morgenthau submits to Hull a revised account for $223 million “considered a liberal estimate of the amount of justified claims”, with the nominal 5% interest inexplicably waived ($216 million in bank deposits nationalized by the Bols, $104 million in confiscated American property, and $86 million in Czarist Imperial war bonds of which only half were accepted by the Kremlin. Then Williams helps us sort out the jumble that kept Bullitt tied up in knots during his entire stay in Moscow. Williams concludes that the claims of the Americans were preposterously unreal: “firstly, the absolute debt totals, private or public, were quite low. If a dollar/sterling exchange rate (in 1992 sic) were of $4.86 to the pound (all figures rounded up) were used the total public debt owed to America by the Soviet Union was only about £39,712,000, with private debt at either £91,975,000 (higher estimate) or £39,712,000 (lower estimate). Secondly, the comparative debt totals with Britain and France are quite disproportionately in America’s favour; British and French Government and private debt totals, using the figures accepted by US Treasury, came out at (Britain) £567,983,396 (public) and £66,627,000 (private) and (France) francs at .20 to the dollar) $185,750,000 (public) and $996,550,000 (private). Thirdly, if account is also taken of the much greater population of the USA (at 91,000,000, 1910 Census) and its greater GNP, it is clear that the direct electoral importance of Russian debt was bound to be less in America than either Britain or France, and especially in the latter. However, it never proved to be this way in practice.”

Then the strangest thing of all happened, or was it. The largely irrelevant American debt became the thorn behind the Kremlin, at least so it appeared, while in reality the Americans in the Consortium continued business as usual with its economic program backing Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. With his rhetorical flair for subtlety in fine British tradition, Williams comes to the same conclusion, writing, “ Rather than making the American Government more keen to arrive at a settlement with Soviet Russia it made them more intransigent. The Russian debt question was to become mixed up with other, intra-Allied, debt problems. But many Americans saw Soviet non-payment of Czarist debts as symbolic of the problems of dealing with a renegade state that might once again refuse to pay its debts, and an affront to the principles of contract and decent business practice.” Did you get that, reader? “…contract and decent business practice”?

With billions swept away from investors on Wall Street as the country faces 30 per cent unemployment and the Consortium “banksters” nervously study the ticker-tape while the bankrupt nation falls over the brink, who’s talking? Figures for pre-1929 trade put forward by Prof. Williams found that US Commerce Department records reveal US exports to Russia running at $41.98 million (1924) rising to over $68.87 million (1925), $49.74 million (1926) and $58.81 million for the first ten months 1927, and $63.6 million for the year rising to 72.5 million (1928). For the period 1927-28, US imports from Russia rose slightly less than ten per cent to $14 million. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 22-3, 42-6; re. Amtorg financing in F. Kellogg to A. W. Kliefoth, Riga May 3 1929, in file 711.61/15; No. 359 and Coleman in Riga to F. Kellogg, Feb. 13, 1928, file 661.1115/13; R. Kelley to P. Mellon, March 10, 1928, and reply Aug. 2, 1928, 661.1115/14 and 15; The NYT, Feb. 7, 1934)


On June 27 the US minister in Belgrade, Yugoslavia John Dyneley Prince, formerly minister in Copenhagen, sends by pouch a letter from Charles R Kotcharovsky, a Russian living in Belgrade and considered “an outstanding economist in Russia before the War”. For some time Prince taught Russian at Columbia University in New York City where he was also head of the Slavonic Language Department. His multilingual skills excelled “with a mastery of all tongues and dialects was indeed extraordinary”, recalls Sir Nevile Henderson P. C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G..,and always remembered how he was particularly impressed when his American counterpart sang Kipling’s On the Road to Mandalay in twenty languages. The only time Henderson ever saw his friend “stumped was at a Rotary lunch where a South African talked to him in the Zulu ‘click’ language, Henderson adds, “His ancestors were of Yorkshire origin, and he was extremely well disposed towards everything British.” Prince later serves as Deputy-Governor of New Jersey. Prince and his wife (“a most efficient doyenne of the diplomatic ladies”) return to America, in 1934, replaced by Ambassador Wilson whom Henderson had known since their days together in St. Petersburg. (Sir Nevile Henderson, Water Under The Bridge: Failure of a Mission, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1945)

Sir Nevile Henderson is another key Consortium Pilgrim, and friend of Blenheim Palace. His opinion of Hitler’s insane attack on Russia is noteworthy here of his opinion in that era of bedlam, and he wrote, “I remember Mr. Lloyd George saying during the Peace Conference in 1919 that Bolshevism would end in extreme nationalism, and he was assuredly right. Germany might overrun Russia from Poland to the Urals, but, as Tolstoi says, it is not battles which decide the ultimate fate of nations. The spirit of the Slav will survive, as it always has survived, in spite of the Rurik autocracy or Mongol invasions. One cannot believe that Germany will be fated one day, when the gods –who remember everlastingly and strike remorselessly – choose their moment, bitterly to regret the evil day when Hitler’s Nazis chose wantonly to attack Russia and revive that savage latent hatred of the Slav for the Teuton. Just as the Napoleonic aggressions stimulated, no less than Frederick the Great and Bismark, German nationalism, so will Hitler contribute, no less than Lenin and Stalin, to unify the Slavs and invigorate the Slav genius, which has so long been fettered by restraints of foreign origin alien to its true conception and natural gifts.” (N. Henderson, 26)

As ambassador Prince tells it Kotcharovsky is sober and articulate and represents the part of the Russian and Ukrainian population who carry in their heart the living memory of Hoover’s humanitarian aide in the 1920s. Now in the White House and one of the most powerful men in the world certainly he can help now they believe and desperately hope but they do not comprehend why he does nothing now to save lives and end the death and suffering. Kotcharovsky had been exiled to Siberia by the Czar for “anti-Tsarist regime sentiments”.

After acknowledging the ARA famine relief work, Kotcharovsky denounces the Bolshevik regime and the famine now ravishing the countryside in a letter addressed to Hoover. “Sir, You were the organizer of America’s military operations during the World War; you organized in 1921 the saving of nine million Russian lives; you are now the Head of the great North American United States. I cannot believe that at this moment Russia and her misery are not in your thoughts; perhaps a scheme of organized aid may again be in your mind … the distress of Russia, however, cannot wait; – immediate relief is necessary, for it may otherwise come too late. Let not the crash of events – even that of a new war – cover the silence of Russians dying a hungry death …” No, he couldn’t believe it. When on earth would the Americans come back? But they had! Working in the factories, plants, designing infrastructure, hydrodams, huge electric power stations converting Mother Russia into a vast modern militarized fortress. There wasn’t much time! Hitler’s Brown shirts were on the march sweeping through German villages and towns, enlisting youth into the new Nazi fascist order. In desperation to save her soul Mother Russia would sacrifice her sons and these Ukrainians too, not once but twice! (SDDF 861.48/2428)

The Kotcharovsky letter urges Hoover and the Americans not to forget their recent history and the memory of the suffering and death of twenty million starved Russians in 1921. “One half of the number were saved by foreigners, especially by Americans, the other half perished.” Kotcharovsky attacked the Five-Year Plan and “mass ‘Kolkhozes’/ collective farms” which he said were destroying Russia. “This excursion into the realm of fantasy, believing (sic) in reality a preventive civil war and universal unparalleled servitude, gave them a short socially-political breathing time, but inevitably brought forth economic ruin; “review of the disaster of collectivization and ‘the orders of the ignorant ‘Kompartya’ all domestic economy was ruined and cattle destroyed, whereas sowing deteriorated notably, etc.”

The Russian economist reviews the tragedy of Soviet Russian harvests the history of which is fully documented and known to the American Russian observers, agriculture specialists and the Consortium planners.

Again listen to Kotcharovsky: “When after ten years came the bad harvest of 1931, it found Russia economically falling to ruin and with no reserves. And again it brought with famine. For a long time the bolshevists were silent on the subject of the harvest; at last in November they admitted drought, bad harvest and a ‘deficit of some hundred millions pouds’. They essayed to pass over in silence the beginning of famine, but in February had to admit officially ‘difficulties of alimentation’. The fact that a famine had begun in winter and had been aggravated in the spring, is depicted beyond all doubt in numerous letters from Russia, as well as in the information given by foreigners, and is confirmed by numerous tragic facts, such as the rush of crowds all over Russia in search of food, peasant’s masses deserting villages in certain localities, etc. Russia suffers already from famine. What may happen yet? The bolshevists have publicly admitted 1/ insufficiency of grain for sowing; 2/ late spring sowing, and 3/vast areas of unsown land. This means even a satisfactory harvest this summer cannot safeguard half starved Russia from famine, and that if 1931 was not a repeat of 1921, 1932 will surely be one.

“We are now spectators of the lingering extermination of the Russian people. Millions perished during the World War and the civil war that followed, millions died of famine in 1920-22, millions of degenerate, forsaken children perished, millions degenerated thanks to illnesses and bolshevist immorality, – countless numbers were annihilated and shot in slave-camps and hard-labor prisons, and now Russia is menaced with a further extermination of millions through famine. “Other nations are now faced with a cruel dilemma; either to notice the misery of Russia and lend a helping hand, or to close their eyes to it and attend only to their own difficulties and troubles.” With this letter sent late June the Hoover administration has yet again another full warning of the disaster, and it comes a year before the worst blow overwhelms Russia and the Ukraine. (italics added)

Kotcharovsky writes, “I do not stand for sentimentalism; of late years Russians have forgotten it. It is perfectly useless nowadays to speak of gratitude or even of justice towards Russia. Simple foresight and the thought of tomorrow ought to urge civilized Humanity to help Russia toward a normal existence, towards health, peace and resurrection. The very absence of an immense, rich, healthy and peaceful Russia whose creative powers are only now fully valued by all nations, is dangerous and of grave import to the whole world; her almost limitless possibilities must have at least a practically restrained, appeased and mitigated the threatening crisis. Infinitely worse for the whole world is the fact that instead of a fresh space of healthy might, lying between Europe and Asia, there exists a huge 150 million mass, bleeding and putrid owing to the parasites that dwell within, and presenting a centre of misery and famine, of disease, madness, of war and destruction.”

“This refers to the harm, physical and psychic, the extreme poverty and negativity inflicted on that population in that part of the world and the consequence for its future and for Humanity in general. It is certain that Russia will one day return unaided to life and to the course that has been traced for her. But it would be better for all, if suffering and anger were not permitted to cast a dark shadow over her soul, if she were to remain kindly and not become a menace, if friendship, affection and help were offered to her at the proper moment that is at present, while she is suffering martyrdom.”

The economist and former Tsarist prisoner is at a complete loss where to turn for help. And who might help? What on earth could possibly be done to prevent further devastation? He asked the right questions but dared not antagonize the Americans. “Whence can help be expected? It might be expected from every nation inspired by reason and charity – especially from kindred Slavs and from Yugoslavia where I write these lines. One might expect help from the League of Nations, although the latter is still feeble and rather slow in action, whereas distress cannot wait. Someone MUST begin however, someone must show immediate efficiency, and make others follow. This initiative belongs to the great American people.”

“The severe economic crisis that reigns now in the United States can in no way (sic) hinder giving aid to starving Russia. On the other hand, having experienced herself what calamity means, America will more readily sympathize with the plight Russia is in. On the other – the American crisis does not spell impoverishment, rather superproduction of every kind and in particular of food stuff. It would therefore not be too difficult to send aid, which would certainly be useful in respect of the moral and political authority and future economic perspectives of the United States.”

June 28 from Riga Cole relays his dispatch from the Warsaw press of a brazen attack in the heart of Moscow at police headquarters near the Kremlin. “Death of two OGPU agents…” The story says they were killed by “terrorists” in a brazen attack inside the OGPU headquarters on Moscow’s Lubyanka Street. The trouble occurred when the two prominent agents were killed by peasants along with “three other OGPU agents” in a battle “in the frontier region near the Dniester River”. Kiyakovski was a twelve-veteran with Cheka, and head of the Anglo-Saxon division of Counter-Revolution of the OGPU. Isakov, once made a “Knight of the Order of the Red Banner” – the Bolsheviks naturally persisted with these imperialist bourgeois sophistries – joined the dreaded secret police during the October Revolution and worked under Dzerzhinski. The Warsaw Molva reported “Kiyakovsky (Stetskevich, a Pole) was one of the most experienced and most dangerous Cheka men and agents-provocateurs.” He left Polish military service and became director of OGPU work in the Baltic States at Riga and Helsingfors Soviet Missions, under the alias Kaminski and was active in kidnapping the Estonian Envoy to Moscow, Ado Birk, posing as a Soviet diplomat, alias Petrovski. According to the Riga paper Sevodnya (Today) June 27, 1932 OGPU agents were sent to wage war against the peasants trying to escape to Rumania. They raided a hut on the Rumanian frontier to capture an insurgent leader who tossed a grenade which killed everyone inside the hut including his wife.”

British diplomats receive more alarming reports which arrive more frequently at the embassy in Moscow. Secret police whom the Brits call “minders” tail foreigners and diplomats around every corner, hotel and favorite restaurant recording their contacts with soviet citizens. Writer Michael Hughes in Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939 (2003) tells of a week tour in the Ukraine in July 1932 by the observer Vyvyan “who was surprised by the apparent health of the local population in an area supposedly ravaged by famine until walking unchaperoned through the streets of Rostov he saw ‘two men lying on the streets – their faces covered with flies’. None of the passers-by took any notice of them, a tell-tale sign that death from malnutrition and disease had become so common in the region that it was no longer a cause for any comment or concern. In another town, Vyvyan watched as a passer-by eagerly scraped out the contents of an old sardine tin into which some used tea-leaves had been emptied.” (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939, Manchester University Press, 2003, 236; FO 371/16339, “Report on a Week’s Tour in the Crimea and Ukraine” by Vyvyan, enclosed with Lord Strang to Sir Esmond Ovey, Aug. 1 1932)

Andrew J. Williams (Trading with the Bolsheviks, 1920-1939) is a slick writer playing “the Game” of politicians, bankers and diplomats. His ploy adept in rhetoric, that specious art of speaking with signs and multilayered nuance is compelling at a glimpse. Yet here is just another academic out to do his bit to baffle and confuse a clear reading of a truncated historical record. Still his focus on trade, business and grain deals with the Bolsheviks is worth the read yet he scantly refers to the Great Dictator as though Stalin was too insignificant a common rogue in the empire world abounding with Lords, Barons, and Viscounts. Instead s scurrilous banter and nonsense of falsehoods mixed with salient diplomatic files on serious issues is passed off at an attempt at scholarship, another shrewd deception to earn possible tenure but no knighthood. Kent Professor Andrew Williams ignores Sutton’s three volumes researched at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. In a chapter titled “The US and Russia, 1928-1935”, the professor takes the extraordinary but traditionally corrupt path of denial for both American presidents Hoover and Roosevelt of their responsibility for making and executing the policy adopted and orchestrated through Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. Instead, in order to play safe and align himself with the Foreign Office version of the FDR Consortium gang’s portrayal of how things were perceived at the time, and so, likewise, to parallel academic reflection with the administration’s political expediency of the era, Williams promotes Hull, a front, and Kelley, a low-level scapegoat without wealth or political connections in the State Department bureaucracy to a role and importance they never had. At least we can see here how the establishment historians persist in falsifying the Holodomor history. Here, for example, here professor Williams fabricates an insipid misleading piece of academic gibberish passed off as serious scholarship writing, “where Hoover was able to devote attention as Secretary of Commerce to Russia and many other things, both Roosevelt and, for half of his term, Hoover, were forced to concentrate on the unfolding domestic disaster. Although Roosevelt did have a far more ‘internationalist’ line-up in the State Department, he nonetheless pursued an unremittingly nationalist foreign policy for the first few years of his Presidency. Russia was largely left, as it had been under all presidents since Wilson, to key members of the President’s cabinets after 1929… Cordell Hull and his top officials, especially in Bob Kelley’s Eastern European Department, and the personnel based in Moscow, especially William C. Bullitt and Joseph Davies, become the key American policy makers.” Total flapdoddle. As we know these guys don’t make “policy”. William’s specious comment on Bullitt and Davies is equally absurd and should trigger immediate suspicion of his intent. Genuine rot. But this is sort of treatment we find too often by skilled technicians of rhetoric taught to deceive the ignorant in tedious time-consuming diversions of trivial pursuit. Reader beware a blend of chaff. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 151-2)

Apart from saying little about the intricate activities of the Consortium Anglo agenda shared with the Americans, professor Andrew Williams does float some useful and documented material on trade and grain issues situated in the context of Empire politics which culminates in the annual international wheat conference held in Ottawa, Canada in mid-summer 1932. Having failed to deal openly with the famine crisis in 1932, he cites Russia as having “enjoyed a large trade surplus in 1930 and 1931” with the US. He added, however, that as hard economic times were met with rising American trade barriers, namely that because of the Smoot-Hawley in 1930 “in the circumstances of the passing of the Tariff Act and the wildest charges of ‘dumping’ and ‘slave labour’ it would have been surprising if Hoover’s administration had not taken some moves against Russian trade.” Rather, it would have been “surprising” if he had, and certainly not during the Plans. Nor is there any serious Congressional outcry against Stalin. State terror and the Soviet gulag system merit no treatment by the British professor as it did little for Hoover, as Williams writes, “whose Cabinet saw some tightening of the rules as they applied to Russia as not ‘include(ing) any new or broad questions’, but the implementation of them created a great deal of controversy. In particular, the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture but not, it should be noted, the Department of Commerce, put steps in motion to investigate the accusations of slave labour and dumping, similar to those leveled in Britain and France.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 155)

Particularly cited were wheat, timber, pulp and other foodstuffs. Still, under the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 Congress managed to include a clause that no goods produced by “convict labor” were to be imported into the US. Another clause targets dumping. The economic turmoil in America by mid-1930 saw 80 per cent of the country’s saw and timber mills closed down. Hoover’s offices are inundated with pleas against Russian dumping. Its left to Treasury and Mellon to handle it. Williams cites that under Section 307 of the Act relating to goods produced by “convict labour” that for a while Soviet pulpwood was banned “but the reason seems to have been more emotional than logical”. Russia’s grain shipments regardless of labour conditions on the Soviet collective farms and the general communist system of manpower and ration cards on which survival depended and where individuality is attacked as a bourgeois commodity and citizens are virtually reduced to chattel, or property of the state now that there is the “revolution” in human relations redefined according to new laws of universal Bolshevik society where everyone is a prisoner, even the dictator himself. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 157)

“In 1929,” Williams wrote, “Russian exports of lumber (boards. Etc.) to the United States amounted to less than one per cent of US imports and less than one-tenth of a percent of domestic consumption. Imports of Soviet pulpwood stood at 11 percent of American imports. The Treasury ruled on 8 July 1930 that this was not produced by convict labor, then changed its mind on 25 July with an embargo, only to remove it again 1 August.” Even in the muddle Williams doesn’t find anything odd with that, and instead ignores the issues it raises over complicity with the Soviet Terror Gulag.

The US State Department, however, is concerned. So is the politically ambitious Henry Fletcher, Hoover’s appointee to chair the US Tariff Commission (1930-31) and currently chairman of the Republican National Committee. Today Fletcher is an icon of spotless reputation with his name carved in stone on the Fletcher School of Diplomacy in Massachusetts. About this brother of the Consortium readers of Time were told in the September 1, 1930 issue that Fletcher who seemed to appear on the American scene from nowhere had begun his ascendancy as a former “private in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders (1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry) during the Spanish War (who sic) was not mentioned at the White House last week as one of the official reasons why President Hoover appointed him chairman of the new Tariff Commission”; five years later this Republican stalwart unsuccessfully leads his party to dethrone Roosevelt in the White House. And who exactly is Henry Prather Fletcher (1873-59) who layed to rest eternally in Arlington National Cemetery normally reserved for military men of distinction? According to writer Gerard Colby (DuPont Dynasty), GOP chairman (1934-36) Fletcher received “over $35,000 in DuPont family donations” in 1934. This during late 1934 and 1935 with US Senate munitions hearings casting the public spotlight on Consortium-Nazi connection including the DuPont ammo deals with German companies. None of that tarnished Fletcher and his gang whose priority is to protect their money sources. The Senate hearings reveal that DuPonts ranked in over $250 million in profits of the carnage of the First World War. Colby observes, however, that “even here, the DuPonts were not unique. Other American companies had also done business with the Nazi regime. United Aircraft Corporation, for example, sold twenty-nine airplane engines to Hitler in 1933, increasing their German business from $6,000 in 1932 to $272,000; by 1934 the figure was $1,445,000.* Curtis-Wright, Douglas Aircraft, and Sperry Gyroscope all provided airplane equipment easily adaptable to wartime use. And General Electric, Alcoa, and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) all maintained patent agreements with companies of Germany… Indeed, the crimes of the DuPonts could only be described as the crimes of private enterprise itself, and, such being the case, the DuPonts remained immune from federal prosecution, for their ethics presumed certain basic principles of political economy shared by everyone in Washington, including those in the White House.” It was left to Bonesman Henry Luce and his editors at Time to bring the cultivated university educated elite up to date on this Consortium politics. Although Fletcher lacks the Ivy League pedigree so keen to Luce, Time spotlights his obscure military background. It’s just another stitch to the Roosevelt legend of the battle to take San Juan Hill precipitating the flight of the Spanish navy from Santiago in the Spanish-American War. Fletcher enlists in the 40th US Infantry deployed in a massive occupational force to seize the Philippines from the Spanish and smash the nationalist drive for independence. (*The 1933 dollar value was before FDR’s devaluation approximately slightly less than one-tenth of the 1990 dollar value; G. Colby, DuPont Dynasty, 1974,1984 ed., 324)

The 1898 war was a one-sided American victory if there ever was one. Poorly-armed civilian Filipinos were no match against well-equipped and mechanized modern foreign expeditionary divisions and the largest overseas deployment of American troops ever in the history of the young nation, not yet two centuries since the American Revolution. Shameful examples of America’s meat-grinding war machine are cited in an illuminating website, Philippine-American War, 1899-1902, A Pictorial History. Blogger Arnaldo Dumindin tells just how glorious war could be: “On March 17, 1900, 200 troops of the 1st Battalion, 44th Infantry Regiment of US Volunteers (USV), led by Maj. Harry C. Hale, arrived in Tagbilaran. Bohol is one of the last major islands in the Philippines to be invaded by American troops. Bernabe Reyes, ‘President’ of the ‘Republic of Bohol’ established on June 11, 1899, separate from Emilio Aquinaldo’s national government, did not exist. Major Hale hired and outfitted Petro Samson to build an insular police force. In late August, Samson took off and emerged a week later as the island’s leading guerilla. Company C of the 44th Volunteers encountered him on Aug. 31, 1900 near Carmen. The guerillas were armed with bolos, a few antique muskets and ‘anting-anting’ or amulets. More than 100 guerillas died. The Americans lost only one man. Two hundred men from the 19th US Regular Infantry Regiment led by Capt. Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class 1881, reinforced the Americans on Bohol. On Sept. 3, 1900, they clashed with Pedro Samson in the Chocolate Hills. From then on through December, US troops and guerillas met in a number of engagements in the island’s interior, mostly in the mountains back of Carmen. Samson’s force consisted of Boholanos, Warrays from Samar and Leyte, and Ilonggos from Panay Island. They lacked firepower; most of them were armed simply with machetes. The Americans resorted to torture – most often ‘water cure’ – and a scorched-earth policy: prominent civilians were tortured; 20 of the 35 towns of Bohol were razed, and livestock was butchered wantonly to deprive the guerillas of food. In May 1901, when a US soldier raped a Filipina, her fiancé murdered him. In retaliation, Capt. Andrew S. Rowan torched the town of Jagna. On June 14-15, 1901, US troops clashed with Samson in the plain between Sevilla and Balilihan; Samson escapes, but Sevilla and Balilihan are burned to the ground. On Nov. 4, 1901, Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes, US commander for the Visayas, lands another 400 men at Loay. Torture and the burning of villages and towns picked up.(At US Senate hearings in 1902, when Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes described the burning of entire towns in Bohol by US troops to Senator Joseph Rawlins as a means of ‘punishment’ and Sen. Rawlins inquires, ‘But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare?…’ General Hughes replied succinctly: ‘These people are not civilized.’) At Inabanga, the Americans killed the mayor and water-cured to death the entire local police force. The mayor of Tagbilaran did not escape the water cure. At Loay, the Americans broke the arm of the parish priest and used whiskey, instead of water, when they gave him the ‘water cure’. Major Edwin F. Glenn, who had personally approved the tortures, was later court-martialed.”

Among the arsenal of American weapons used in the massacre against machetes and spears was the 600-round Gatling gun. A Texas regiment compared engagement to a turkey shoot. By 1901 General MacArther replaces the Spanish governor-general in his Malacañan Palace on the Pasig river as his base of command for the Division of the Philippines, the largest in the Army at the time of nearly 72,000 enlisted men and 2,367 officers barracked in 502 garrisons throughout the islands. In three years of war, from February 4, 1899 to July 4, 1902, the Filipinos lose some 20,000 soldiers killed in action and 200,000 civilians; the Americans suffer 4,390 dead; among them 1,053 are killed in actual fighting. After pacification with order restored in 1901 Bonesman and future US President William Howard Taft is ceremoniously appointed Civil Governor. In the wake of Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet America ranks with the Empires, one step from the Boxer Rebellion and the sacking of the Imperial Palace in China, and only four years before at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Teddy Roosevelt arbitrates Czarist Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905.

So Time rolls out the red carpet for Fletcher. The Consortium diplomat is praised as “a suitable person to head the Commission” chosen “to flex out the ‘inequalities and injustices’ of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.” Fletcher ,“the suave, immaculate guide and counselor of his pre-inaugural South American tour”, has nearly three decades of prestigious service in the State Department: Cuba, Portugal, briefly in China (1907), Chile (1914), ambassador in Mexico (1916-20), and off to Europe after the Great War as an undersecretary at State in charge of economic matters (1921-22) before he settles into the cozy Paris ambassador’s residence (1922-24); then off again, this time to Rome (1924-29). (Time, Sept. 1, 1930)

Fletcher was part of a Stimson’s tightly-knit group of Consortium friends that included Bill Phillips, Basil Miles, Willard Straight, Gen. Frank McCoy of Stimson’s 1932 Manchurian Commission named for British diplomat V. A. G. R. Bulwer-Lytton, the 2nd Earl of Lytton. After meeting with government leaders in China and Japan in 1932 this group spends six weeks in Manchuria on a fact-finding mission in the spring. Their report condemns the Japanese aggression and occupation. Efforts to cool the burning embers have the reverse effect. Just over a year has passed since the plot of a radical ultra-nationalist group called the Cherry Blossom Society failed in their plot to overthrow the civilian government. Prime Minister Hamaguchi was shot in the Tokyo railroad station. This year a group of young military officers called the Blood Brotherhood kill Finance Minister Kaoru Inoue and Baron Dan, head of Mitzui, the largest zaibatsu. Then, on May 15 Prime Minister Inukai considered anti-militarist and an advocate of peace negotiations with China is murdered in his government residence by assassins shooting down government guards. That day several attacks failed including an attempt to bomb the Mitsubishi Bank, slay Count Makino and bomb the headquarters of the Tokyo police. Clans and cliques fought over what faction would ultimately dominate the sacred Imperial Palace and its hostage Emperor. “The young officers did not want total war. ‘It is obvious,’ said one of them, ‘that Japan’s relations with Russia, China, Britain and the United States are now so strained that any careless step on Japan’s part may throw our divine country into the abyss of war and annihilation,” the Seagraves write. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 148)

The Seagraves describe conditions at the time: “The only real opposition to the Manchurian takeover came from Chinese citizens who boycotted Japanese exports, which fell an average of 90 percent in 1932. In Chinese cities, Japanese were beaten up or murdered. In Shanghai, portraits of Hirohito were paraded with paper daggers stuck through his heart. Here was an opportunity not to be missed. Japanese provocateurs posing as Buddhist monks provoked a quarrel with a Shanghai mob and two ‘monks’ were slain. At the time Japan’s navy was responsible for policing her commercial interests in Shanghai and there were a number of well-armed Japanese vessels in the Whangpo river. Knowing that reinforcements were already on the way, the Japanese admiral in Shanghai dispatched his marines and mobilized some of the city’s 30,000 Japanese residents. Immediately fighting broke out with the Chinese Nineteenth Route Army in Shanghai. Random gunshots were succeeded by artillery barrages and aircraft strafing and bombing runs. Large parts of the city were flattened. Thousands of Westerners watched the carnage from the relative safety of the International Settlement, so where Japan’s unseen actions in Manchuria had been applauded, its conspicuous brutalities in Shanghai were denounced. Tom Lamont lamented that the Japanese blunder (the blunder of being observed) would make it ‘impossible to arrange any (further) credit (for Tokyo), either through investment of banking circles’.” And that spring on March 27, 1933 Japan pulls out of the League of Nations taking another great step towards an inevitable and epic clash and realignment with Consortium global strategy. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 145-6)

Miles, only 51 when he died in 1928, had been for the last six years the American Administrative Commissioner to the International Chamber of Commerce, a high-level position since his 1917 Bolshevik coup days in Petrograd with William Franklin Sands, a director of the New York Federal Reserve who sent a million dollars to the Bols. As the State Department’s chief Russian specialist Miles, he and his group advised US ambassador Francis how to “deal with all authorities in Russia including Bolsheviks”. (Sands had also intervened to help John Reed.) Sutton observes, “… Basil Miles, in charge of the Russian desk at the State Department and a former associate of William Franklin Sands, was decidedly helpful to the businessmen promoting Bolshevik causes; but in 1923 the same Miles authored a pro-fascist article, “Italy’s Black Shirts and Business”. Miles declares, “Success of the Fascists is an expression of Italy’s youth”. Miles sees in the fascist movement a bold new opportunity for the American Consortium gang. (A. C. Sutton, “Alliance of Bankers and Revolution”, Wall Street and the Bolsheviks)

One little story Luce and Time will not divulge is the saga of 1718 H Street in Washington. There “the Family” hang out in a smart little DC townhouse reserved for a tightly-knit set of top hotshot Consortium diplomats. It began in 1907 the best and the brightest moving up fast at State rented the home of retired Army General William H. Emery. Some time after Basil Miles (Oxford) is assigned to Petrograd, in 1914, they decide to buy “1718” to ensure a cornerstone residence for “the Family,” actually a very private men’s hideaway. Other members of the “1718” club include Bill Phillips, Willard Straight, and Norman Davis, the sugar magnate who organizes the Trust Company of Cuba and a wartime adviser to Treasury on foreign loans and an Armistice delegate; Boston Mayor Andrew J. Peters; New York Fed Governor Benjamin Strong, Undersecretary David K. E. Bruce, scion of a distinguished line of Virginians including Patrick Henry (Princeton). In 1926 Bruce marries his first wife Ailsa Mellon, daughter of Andrew W. Mellon and the richest woman in America, more rich even than the Harriman women. During the war Bruce joins Bill Phillips in the OSS and listed to head the newly formed CIA. Instead he got ambassadorships at Paris (1949-52), Berlin (1957-59), and London (1961-69). During the Vietnam Peace Talks Bruce follows Lodge as US envoy to Paris.

To crown his achievements as often happens with the Consortium top cadre, David K. E. Bruce served two years as US ambassador to NATO (1975-76); Undersecretary Joseph C. Grew, later ambassador to Japan; Leland Harrison (Eton and Harvard ’07); Frederick Sterling (Harvard ’98); undersecretary and NY lawyer, Joseph Cotton, James C. Dunn, and Francis White. Between missions Norman Armour is another regular showing up at 1718 H Street bringing his friends from St. Pauls, Princeton ‘09, Harvard Law ‘13. During the Russian Revolution Armour was a junior officer in the US embassy; in the tumult he helped Princess Myra Koudacheff escape from the Bols and married her. Parties at 1718 H Street inevitably includes the Roosevelts, no strangers to this crowd. As most members are married house rules are set to allow for a spirited and proper longevity of all-male “The Family” while preserving the residence as an all-male “club for the social elite of the Diplomatic Service”. And it’s strictly off-limits to pressmen.

Historian Robert D. Schulzinger called the house “virtually a second FO”. Across town, at the Smithsonian, visitors to the art gallery might have seen the 1925 exhibit of a collection of bronze and terracotta which included Mussolini emboldened in black marble next to H. Fletcher in bronze. When Fletcher presented his credentials to the dictator, Time ran a glossy tribute to the Republican Party bagman comparing him to his soviet counterpart.

In the issue appearing April 7, 1924 Luce writes “Henry Fletcher, new American Ambassador to Italy (Time, March 3), and Mrs. Fletcher were welcomed at the Rome railway station by Marchese Paplucci, personal representative of Premier Mussolini, and by the staff of the American Embassy. On the same day another new Ambassador presented his credentials to King Vittorio Emanuele III. He was M. Jurenev, Ambassador of Soviet Russia. Jurenev with all the members of his staff, imitated the absurd American custom of wearing full evening dress as a diplomatic uniform. He drove to the Quirinal Palace, received a salute from an honor guard,”entered the throne room, engaged in 20 minutes of cordial conversation with the King”. Quite an impressive rise to power since his Rough Rider cowboy days with TR in Puerto Rico. Its hard today to know who was more ridiculous, Luce, Fletcher, Mussolini, the Italian King, or comrade Jurenev…


The next day Edward E. Brodie sends his dispatch No. 627 from Finland titled “Experiences in Russia of William H. Stoneman, a correspondent of the Chicago Daily News”. Brodie is alerted that “economic conditions are worse than a year ago”. Stoneman passed through Helsingfors on the southern coast of Finland across the straits from Tallinn on February 23 after his first trip to Soviet Russia. He stays on for six weeks “most of the time being spent at Moscow”. Brodie reports that Stoneman personally confirms to the highest ranking diplomat here the authenticity of information published in his stories of “about 40,000 words”. Why Stoneman gives this information to the American diplomat is not precisely clear.

During the Holodomor and in general there is an odd complicity between journalists and diplomats. An exchange of favor can be quite the standard practice when serving the same masters of the ruling class. Its convenient to swop stories, pick up tips, trade info and of course share a good chat with a friend ready to fire home a story by cable or expedite by diplomatic pouch. Fellow Americans facing the same drama share different degrees of bewilderment or surprise not quite sure what world they are living in although in tragedy it may feel to be the same. Could it be that they both feel shock and awe, anger or sadness? Even in the marble stone halls of power one could never be too sure about anything real or solid. Stoneman “promised” to send Brodie his “impressions” after he returns to his base in Stockholm. For a moment they share a bond of horror and perhaps to remind them that a touch of compassion elevates life as human and dignified.

Who is Ed Brodie and how did he end up in Finland monitoring the Russians? A non-career appointee he savored the pleasures of Bangkok in his first posting in late 1921 to Siam (Thailand), the ancient Royal Kingdom until May 1925. Four years in that tranquil idyllic tropical paradise of other worldly peace. Five years later, in May 1930, Brodie returns to State as ambassador to Finland. Brodie is actually a newspaper owner and publisher from Oregon City, born in Fort Stevens in 1876, the year of the Custer Indian battle when the state was mostly wild frontier and Indian warrior chief Red Hawk and his brave brothers roamed the plains. Brodie is also a Free Mason, 32 AASR and Shriner, one of William R. Deslow’s “10,000 Famous Masons” mentioned in his book with a forward by future President Harry S. Truman, himself a PGM, Grand Lodge of Missouri.

Brodie remains at his post in Finland until September 1933 with the Holodomor scorching the life out of millions of Ukrainians. Stoneman’s info to the American State Department reads like a military intelligence report. “Mr. Stoneman,” Brodie observes, “found among the non-official class a belief that Russia is living under a certainty of aggression from her neighbors, both to the west and to the east. They are suspicious of the intentions of Poland and Rumania, but believe that Japan will not attempt an unfriendly movement which might lead to rupture as long as Japanese are fully occupied in their present imbroglio with China. The immediate fear of trouble comes from the southwest and accordingly Russia has concentrated in the Black Sea most of the principal vessels of her fleet. My informant said that some officials with whom he had talked about the idea of conflict, but it is noticeable that Russia is attempting to add to her military equipment and is manufacturing tanks at one of the tractor factories. According to information given to Mr. Stoneman by American engineers, the steel manufactured in Russia is very inferior and would not be usable as steel in the United States. He also said that efforts are being made to develop the manufacture of gas for military use, but for that purpose natural deposits are not extensive. Mr. Stoneman believes that the Russians are long on human resources, but seriously lacking in equipment as well as transportation, and that she is ill-prepared for modern warfare.”

Stoneman turns to the food crisis; there are mounting signs of food scarcity. In his dispatch forwarded to the Secretary of State Brodie explains, “There exists a food shortage in certain districts, but not so noticeable in Moscow, and there is even in some areas an insufficient amount of cabbage, long a principal item in the diet of the Russian masses.” Brodie adds a personal note telling how even the diplomats have trouble finding foodstuffs from the countryside: “I was informed last night by Mrs. Sperling, wife of the British minister, that their Embassy at Moscow had asked the Legation here to ship fresh eggs to the Soviet capital, as that commodity is not obtainable here.”

“Whatever the hardships suffered by the adult population, except the favored classes, Mr. Stoneman was particularly impressed by the appearance of the children, who are comfortably clothed and are very well fed, receiving both milk and meat in the schools. The authorities are taking no chances with the physical development of the younger generation.” Stoneman’s reports are toned down, non-alarmist; he needs a return visa to reenter the U.S.S.R.. Who can be trusted? The next day Brodie sends another dispatch of Stoneman’s findings on local shortages of the food supply in the countryside as he ends his first tour in Russia. (Living Conditions 861.5017 / 431; Edward Brodie to US Secretary of State, Feb. 24, 1932, SDDF 761.00/221)

Around this time from London The New York Times reports March 28 that “N. M. Victor Rothschild , twenty-one-year-old nephew of Baron Rothschild is going to the United States soon to take a post with JP Morgan & Co. it was learned tonight.” The Times enlightens its readers that, “It is usual for progressive British bankers to send their young men to western states temporarily, one of the most notable believers in the practice being the Anglo-American banking house of J. Henry Schroeder & Co.” When seen from the historical perspective of the Rothschild relation with the Morgan firm Eustace Mullins reminds us (The World Order) this Morgan-Rothschild connection “explains the otherwise incomprehensible mystery of why JP Morgan famed as “the most powerful banker in the world”, yet who left such a modest fortune at his death in 1913, a mere $11 million ($110 million) after his debts were secured. Although the present members of the Morgan family seem financially secure, none of them is counted among the ‘big rich’.” The rich are very careful at matters of privacy; it would seem here the shadow over the legacy is greater than the man who leaves it behind. (E. Mullins, The World Order)

Consul Carlson on April 14 sends dispatch No. 14, a translation of an article from Balt Noewspaper Revalsche Zeitung, a German-language paper in Tallinn titled “Letter from Moscow” published April 8. The story covers “growing discontent in Russia at the living conditions”. Harry Carlson wants everyone to see this one. Copies of the story are passed on to Riga, Paris (EIC) and Washington. “A comparison of the situation of the average individual in the Soviet Union in the year 1928 with that of the present time shows that, although even at the beginning of the Five Year Plan the population had to suffer because of difficult living conditions, nevertheless the situation at that time appears to be almost paradisaical in comparison with that of today.” Moscow remained “an exception” where the populace received “their rations of bread with comparatively great regularity”. However, “the meat, milk, and butter provisioning of this city is completely disorganized” the privileged now could barely butter, and only rarely “fish, game and even poultry are offered for sale”. Moscow is not yet starving but it is living in great need.” (italics added)

Conditions for famine are stacking up State Department files. Carlson is experienced with famine and relief. He definitely is not happy with the Russian mess. This Tallinn story went on: “The situation in the country districts is entirely different. A steady flow of hungry people is under way towards Moscow. In all of the streets of Moscow typical peasant types are to be observed; there are men in Russian coats, whose feet are covered with felt boots and sometimes with rags. When these people are asked as to the places from whence they come they reply that they are from the districts of Orolow, Tula, or from Ryazan. They say that they are former ‘kulaks’ from whom everything has been taken and that they have come into the city in order not to starve in the country. In this way the population of Moscow increases daily and an army of unemployed is being formed the number of which is not to be estimated, and concerning which no statistics whatsoever are available.”

Peasants are now permitted to retail foodstuffs in the city markets. If only they had anything left! Their livestock and seed have been confiscated. Carlson’s report makes that clear. “But what kind of food products! Small, dirty, unappetizing lumps of butter are offered for sale at ridiculous prices; sometimes milk can be seen, but the prices which are asked are impossible. Some weeks ago the Central Committee of the Communist Party issued an order according to which peasants who are members of the ‘Kolkhoze’ are each given the right to own one cow, and a few smaller animals. This decree came at a period when the last cow, the last sheep and the last pig had already been taken from these unhappy peasants. For this reason it was scarcely of practical importance.”

But now the repression not only has the kulaks fleeing the villages targets of Moscow’s latest round of violent state suppression but it is “extended to all classes of the country population”. The report continues to depict the current scene. “The accounts of such fugitives from the country are pitiful. They relate how their stalls were broken into and how all their cattle was nationalized upon the order of the village Soviets. When the Soviet Government undertook its great campaign for the collectivization of agricultural enterprises it was believed in Soviet circles that in this manner the ‘kulak’, the well-to-do farmer, would be ruined and that he would then willingly accept work in the ‘Kolkhozes’ since in this manner the standard of living would be advanced. Through bureaucratic management, irrational cultivation of ground, and entirely insufficient care of cattle in the ‘Kolkhozes’ and “Sovhozes’, people are starving in the country districts. (emphasis added) Even the miserable effects which belonged to the poorest classes in the villages before the collectivization have been taken away, and the hatred against the Soviet regime which was borne formerly only by the well-to-do circles of the peasants has now been extended to all classes of the country population. The treatment of collectivized cattle is beyond all description. There are, of course, no stalls available in which to house the herds which have been collected in this manner. In the Steppe regions of South Russia recourse has been taken to a method by which the cattle are simply herded together and kept in the open air in fenced areas. Feeding takes place, of course, quite irregularly; it often happens that cattle break out of these areas and escape into the steppes. These completely senseless measures have quite naturally awakened extreme bitterness among the peasants. Of late the Kolkhozes have begun slaughtering cattle in great numbers, simply because of scarcity of feeding materials. Numerous sharp decrees to prevent this are in existence.”

The Tallinn journalist writes that war alone could reverse the slide into chaos and an end to the Stalinist communist dictatorship. “The only refuge which the great mass of the Russian population sees is war. Only a war can bring about a change of conditions, and only a war can give hope for a new regime. When it seemed that difficulties between Japan and the Soviet Union in the Far East were unavoidable, the USSR reserve towards Japan was explained by the Soviets by stating that it was impossible to engage in war against Japan until the Five Year Plan had been completed. In reality matters afraid of losing in case of war their control over the masses, which at the present time are still dozing in an inactive stupor”. Stalin was rumored to be ill, but seen at Easter’s “performance of the Great Opera”. (SDDF 861.00/11493)

US observers watching Ukraine’s borders caught wind of a mass exodus of 1,000 Moldavian peasants from the Soviet Moldavian Republic into Rumania featured in dispatch No. 854 from Charles S. Wilson on March 12, 1932: “fleeing collectivization, and confiscation of the livestock and property, denied right to religious assembly and many sent to forced labor camps”. Conditions were desperate Charles Wilson note, and he writes, “Rather than continue to suffer such persecution, they preferred to run the risk of being shot by the Soviet guards during an attempted flight to Rumanian territory… The escape of 1,000 persons who will tell the truth about conditions in their own area is a bitter blow to the Soviets who had been broadcasting across the frontier glowing accounts of the Utopian conditions prevailing on the other side of the Dniester.” (SDDF 861.48/ Refugees 71/2, reel 31)

On April 7, 1932, dispatch No. 1029, a “Special Report from France”, is sent by Warrington Dawson, a so-called “Special Assistant” actually doing political intelligence in the Paris Embassy covering Soviet Russia and the émigré press from Paris, an incestuous nest of Czarist and Soviet spies. It includes an expose titled “Commercial Relations with the Soviets”, with an article by Joakim Puhk, the President of Estonian Chamber of Commerce, and also published in Paris by the Revue de Paris, on April 1 1932 with a look at the Five-Year Plan and Soviet intention to disorganize world trade “behind a hedge of bayonets and scaffolds”. “What matters is,” Puhk declares, “that world markets are being disorganized, and that the capitalist States, are learning that Russia is in a position to being down prices and to disorganize production in capitalistic countries while rendering it more difficult for them to sell their products and increasing unemployment within their borders. That is the explanation of the dumping policy, even though it means degradation of the Russian people themselves.” All of which was denied by Molotov and other Soviet leaders, of course, as anti-Soviet propaganda. Russians he says are “reduced to the level of half slaves or cattle to which Russian workmen and peasants have been reduced. The laborers who are fulfilling the Five-Year Plan sleep without beds in common barracks where they lie flat on the ground, lacking even a change of clothes. Men and women do not always even sleep apart. Wages are paid in kind but in such reduced proportions that the workmen cannot really live on them. Nothing whatever remains, of course, for his pleasures or intellectual needs. Yet his labor-card binds him like a slave to the enterprise in which he is engaged. He has not even the freedom to move from one place to another, and the remuneration is such that only complete slaves in other countries can enter into competition.” (SDDF 661.0011/22)

The idea to send Bullitt as ambassador to Moscow came later that year, an afterthought by House. There really was nobody else to go except John MacMurray. Bullitt wormed his way into the job which proved useful to FDR who never expected Bullitt to accomplish much in Moscow. Brash and audacious, Bullitt is also deviously cunning, and adept at fancies of charm so much so that at first he genuinely enjoyed sporting in the medieval antics of the blood-stained Bolsheviks. Bullitt’s reputation precedes him there. The Bolsheviks know him. He had met Radek, Lenin, Chicherin and Trotsky in more revolutionary times.

Bullitt considers the wily Litvinov to be someone he can readily approach since his first days with Lincoln Steffens in Bolshevik Russia on the 1919 House mission. Not that he could ever count on a straight answer. Now he is again going back into another giant famine.

Bullitt travels to Moscow arriving May 21. His business ostensibly is debts and loans, credits for the Kremlin perhaps, but he has no special mission for Stalin. Stimson would never use him that way. Bullitt never shows any concern for the peasants on this trip. Famine and starvation are not his priorities. He is there ostensibly to intervene on behalf of negotiations for National City. More smoke and mirrors. It’s a Consortium deal and he’s only a bit player. He would fail. Stalin may have been a little curious but he has much more on his mind like losing the Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Consortium still intended on making use of him. In two years a similar trick will turn on Bullitt when he has to take the full brunt of the President’s “gentleman’s agreement” with the Soviet Foreign Minister Litvinov when FDR puts the recognition deal on the table in the White House. All this would haunt Bullitt during his brief two years as as ambassador in Moscow completely exhausting the credit of his “Sovietphile” reputation making his presence there redundant and suddenly an all-too conspicuous embarrassment for Roosevelt bungling the Consortium’s long-term industrial business plans for Soviet rearmament and war. The reason for war is war. Peace begets peace; war begets war. Somehow that message eluded Bullitt who used up his valuable time in Moscow mainly in pointless debates with the expert dialectician Soviet Foreign Affairs Commissar Maxim Litvinov to pay off National City’s Czarist debts.

Apparently on this particular mission Bullitt is not working under a directive from FDR. They are neither friends nor social acquaintances. As Governor of New York, FDR could hardly have been more indifferent about the City’s loan. Roosevelt didn’t see him or send him. Nor did House. Nor Baruch. National City men inside the State Department sent him. Bullitt was good at role-playing and liked to let everyone know how mysteriously important he is ever since playing special agent to Lenin in 1919. Then, upon his return to London, House disowned him and President Wilson and Prime Minister Lloyd George refuse to see him or personally acknowledge his mission. At Yale’s “Dramat” he enjoys acting, but he is never nearly as good as Cole Porter or Monty Woolley. Bullitt had tried journalism but wasn’t content with that side of the Game though he had learned a lot from his close friend Lincoln Steffens ever since their mission together two years after Steffens traveled with Trotsky to help in the set up of the Bolshevik regime in the October 1917 coup Bullitt played his card in 1919 and another now in 1932 using his connections at State.

Bullitt was transfixed, fascinated by the intrigue of and the power of government and social status and uses it like others in the Consortium of American society to confirm one’s self-importance veiled in unaccountable secrecy and mystery. Since childhood Bullitt had dreamed to be a consummate statesman. Actors with top-hats. Bullitt, however, is no match for Lenin, Stalin or the Bolshevik diplomats. For this mission Bullitt cultivated the producers of the real-life stage, House, Baruch, and his social class of rich and powerful friends at State where ambassadorships went to the Consortium big wigs, pooh bahs and other panjandrums, Dems and Republicans who themselves could afford to pay the entertainment expenses of keeping up an embassy in the diplomatic crowd. The State Department leaves them with a shoe-lace budget. Ambassadors have to buy or ship their own cars. Most walk to work. Salaries are small, $17,500 for an ambassador and even that is frozen during the depression years. Bullitt knows how to stroke feathers for favors.

So, in 1932, during a critical election year with the national economy in the malestorm of its worst banking crisis in the history of the nation, Bullitt plays at politics and used the Moscow trip for National City’s account to ingratiate himself into FDR’s private entourage eventually even going so far as to seduce the passion of the President’s personal Secretary enticing her to travel across the world to Moscow only to be rejected and cast aside. When it ca,e time, he knew he would serve FDR at the President’s pleasure. At first, newly installed in the White House, FDR is amused and suffers him gladly. Before the end of the decade he will cut the line.

But at this time in the early thirties more likely it is Colonel House, the shadowy presidential advisor and said to be a Rothschild man intervenes to move Bullitt a step closer to the apex. Power has no conscience; it knows and wants only more power and compels the actor to do what is necessary to take it, as much and whenever the occasion avails itself through people, events and situations. Consequently Bullitt arranges to be hired as a “Special Assistant” in Stimson’s State Department. It was a pure Consortium job, sending the famous Bolshevik apologist on a clandestine mission ostensibly to collect bad debts. The Consortium uses people like Bullitt until they are no longer needed. Stimson nor Hoover have no use for him. Stimson never liked him, considering him arrogant, a social gadfly flamboyantly disloyal and not a team player. In fact, when Bullitt gives his “club and donkey” speech and raised his warning against Stalin’s intention to turn Europe Red, Stimson becomes irate; FDR doesn’t agree with Bullitt’s method of diplomatic “cajolery and coercion”, declaring “it wouldn’t work” and that “The Soviets wouldn’t take it.” Stimson records in his diary “I realize what a preposterous thing it was for me to have my time taken up with this wretched, selfish, disloyal man’s troubles. He has gotten into this mess himself by virtually being disloyal to his chief.” The very experienced and very wealthy Bill Phillips (he married the Astor girl) has no place in his heart for Bullitt either. Hull had no opinion nor did his matter anyway. (M.Cassella-Blackburn, 215, HLS Diary)

Japanese aggression expands their hold on territory in China and tensions are high on the South Eastern Russian border with the Kremlin still holding onto territory around their railroad there. The Manchurian crisis was an episode of the vital importance for the League weakened by its failure to enforce international collective security agreements and treaties. Godfrey Hodgson writes, “It taught a lesson that was learned by the dictators before the democracies absorbed it: that only force could stop a nation or a leader who was willing to use force and use it ruthlessly. It showed beyond a doubt that the Japanese were determined to conquer China and such other territories as would give them the markets and the raw materials they believed they needed.” So far he has failed to restrain Japanese aggression in the Far East.

In a few short months in early September Stimson shares his vision for a future role of US in China with Admiral Hepburn, US Pacific Fleet Commander, to confront he says the “underlying danger in the Far East and the absolute necessity of keeping the Navy in such a condition in which it would be airtight against any sudden attack by the Japanese”. Stimson is now pitiless in his judgment of the League of Nations in general and the wretched political shuffling of the British appeasement clique, and Sir John Simon in particular. In private he said he was “disgusted”. Stimson calls the leaders of the League in general “damn mushy cowards”. He singled Simon out for “weasling”. Not a young man Stimson admits he has always felt a soldier at heart. When a world is preparing for war a lawyer not believing in the binding force of international treaties has nothing to gain in standing out as a paper tiger. (G. Hodgson, 167-8; HLS Diary)

Around this time Undersecretary Joe Cotton tells his close friend and boss Stimson “that a team of code-breakers in New York, picturesquely known as the “Black Chamber”, was deciphering and reading incoming messages for foreign ambassadors in Washington.” Stimson finds it dubious and blasphemously incredible that as early as the 1922 Naval Conference “the American delegates were presented every morning with the instructions sent to the British, French, Japanese and Italian delegates they were negotiating with. The code-breakers are controlled by the War Department’s Division of Military Information, but Stimson discovers to his consternation that the State Department had allotted $40,000 a year to Black Chamber, a huge sum when salaries are miniscule. That was in 1929 when Stimson shuts down the Cipher Bureau.

Stimson notes in his diary June 22, 1931 that the eves-dropping was “a highly unethical thing”, and he tries to end it. “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail”, declaring the practice underhanded and unclean and not suited to his profession as a lawyer and diplomat. Stimson cuts the funding. Black Chamber leader cryptanalyst Herbert O. Yardley is fired. Yardley then writes his whistle-blower book, The American Black Chamber, published that year 1931. It becomes an instant best-seller in Japan where its leaders learn how they had been “tricked” ten years before at the Naval Conference negotiations and duped into conceding naval superiority. The Japs change their codes. The US Army gets into the picture, setting up its own operations in the Signal Corps in the office of the Chief Signal Officer, and David Friedman, a brilliant emigrant Russian from Bessarabia whose parents escaped anti-Semitism there to settle in Pennsylvania, and changed his name to from Wolf to William. Friedman works with Yardley cracking the Japanese Purple cipher thus disclosing Japanese diplomatic secrets long knowing long before Pearl Harbor Japanese war plans. Among the new cryptanalysts Friedman is a legend; they all studied his book, Elements of Cryptanalysis, and regarded it as “our Bible”, expert codebreaker Joe Rochefort recalled. Friedman first learns about cryptography reading “The Gold Bug”, by Edgar Allan Poe, my favorite writer when I was ten. Just imagine that, a penniless and persecuted emigrant Russian Jew saves America. And he never got the Medal of Freedom. (M. Bundy, On Active Service, 188; G. Hodgson, The Colonel, 203; Shawn J. Rosenheim, The Cryptographic Imagination Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1997,11; Ronald W. Clark, The Man Who Broke Purple: the Life of Colonel William F. Friedman, Who Deciphered the Japanese Code in World War II, Boston: Little Brown, 1997; David Kahn, The Codebreakers: the Story of Secret Writing. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966; Frank B. Rowlett, The Story of Magic: Memoirs of an American Cryptologic Pioneer, Aegean Park Press, 1999; P. K O’Donnell writes Hoover and Stimson received Black Chamber intercepts in 1929 provoking the shutdown, and he adds, “Fortunately, the military pressed on with code-breaking efforts.” , xi ; re “Black Chamber” W. Friedman, Elliott Carlson, Joe Rochefort’s War, The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011, 55; Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide, A Codemaker’s War 1941-1945, NY: The Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 1998)

The debt problem is all getting out of hand. He and Ogden Mills persuade England not to default in December. On November 30, 1932, Stimson tells Hoover “the time had come when somebody has got to show some guts.” Hodgson confirms, “Right up to the eve of Pearl Harbor, as we shall see, a body of opinion in the United States powerful enough to compel the most gingerly respect even from such a master politician as Franklin D. Roosevelt angrily denounced any suggestion that the United States should, in its own interests, act to prevent Europe from being dragged into war for a second time under the weight of its ancient rivalries, and its new economic quarrels. Henry Stimson believed, as early as 1931, if not before, that America and Europe were inextricably entangled, whether anyone liked it or not. What is self-evident he doesn’t feel the need to admit that the Americans would need the Russians. They are already there constructing colossal dual capacity manufacturing plants and armament factories with the latest American machine technology to modernize Soviet defense capability. (G. Hodgson, 170)

May 27 Stimson notes, “Lamont is very much worried…he thinks there will surely be a crash during the summer which will upset all that they are doing here and destroy confidence in this country… He is a little bit easier on the Germans than I would be. He thinks they ought to get a moratorium from three to five years and then only have to pay perhaps a hundred million dollars, and then do it only on the basis of some index of prosperity, so that their obligation would be in the nature of an income bond. On the other hand, Parker Gilbert* is stiffer against the Germans. He has had pretty good experience with them, and he thinks they can pay now, and that under different treatment they would do it. In this respect I agreed with him. I had the experience of studying the Germans at close hand last year when I went to Berlin and when I was in the London Seven Power Conference. I feel very confident that the more we put into them in the way of firmness, the more quickly will they realize that is their only chance. In other words, the germ as I see it is to get Germany, first, to promise sometime, not necessarily at once, to pay something. In order to do that, we have got to change the British position.” Stimson found the British “egging the Germans on in the hope of a cancellation”. No reference here to the USSR.

Let us reader take a quick look at the distinguished Mr. Gilbert: Seymour Parker Gilbert (1892-38), banker, lawyer, politician, diplomat, all the right ingredients for the Consortium. Rutgers, Harvard Law; at 27, Gilbert lands a top slot as undersecretary at Treasury in Wilson’s administration during the first years of the Fed under McAdoo and stays on during the war years and Harding’s administration. Gilbert was deep into the postwar reconstruction of Germany as Agent General for Reparations to Germany (1924-30) and appointed by the Allied Reparations Commission, succeeding Owen D. Young. The Young Plan originally conceived the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Gilbert had been responsible for implementing the doomed Dawes Plan which bought Germany to its knees compelling Hoover to impose his moratorium on debts and reparations and driving the German people over the brink and Hitler into power. Rewarding all he has done taking the world closer to what author Ian Buruma describes in Year Zero 1945 (2013) as the worst conflict in the history of the world, by 1931 Gilbert officially makes partner at JP Morgan; during the yuppie 1980s of arbitrage mega-mergers Gilbert’s son chairs Morgan Stanley. A quaint sense of continuity of the victors, reader, is it not so? (Ian Buruma, Year Zero 1945: A History of 1945, NY: Penguin Press, 2013)

June 8. On the position of cancellation of war debts by the British Treasury (“Atherton’s talk with Sir Warren Fischer”) Hoover tells Stimson “that he could not be expected after he was spending every day in turning down hundreds of requests from Congress to appropriate various sums of money for Americans to turn around and give away $250,000,000 a year to foreigners. The American people simply could not understand it.” Hoover said the Europeans could pay. How much? “Perhaps the whole”, he said. June 28, Tom Lamont of Morgan calls Stimson to tell him “in both Argentina and Germany the British were urging the respective countries to default on their sinking fund payments on the long term bonds.” Stimson notes “This is contrary to the policy of JP Morgan & Co., who always urge that government bonds take precedence over private indebtedness.” The British worry they’d might default “on their private obligations” ;Lamont tells Stimson “the British were doing it in good faith as the lesser evil”. Lamont urges Stimson to push Hoover “to take the lead again.” On June 29 Stimson notes in his diary, “The President said that the financial situation had gotten as bad as it possible could be. Hoarding has begun again and some $200,000,000 is being withdrawn from circulation every week. That is equal to the very peak of the bad times last fall. … Roosevelt is very likely now to be the nominee…” The tide has turned against Hoover. (HLS Diary)

This summer on the sea off Newport, Rhodes Island Roosevelt takes a break from the campaign trail cruising on William Astor’s grand yacht Nourmahal with his Consortium guests watching the big pretty boats compete in the 15th America’s Cup races. It’s the nation’s premier sporting event of the rich with their J-Class yachts. Bullitt’s friend Harold (“Mike”) Vanderbilt is at the helm of Rainbow against T.O.M’s Sopwith’s Endeavour. Roosevelt has been a member of the New York Yacht Club since 1904. It was said by his family that “the sea coursed through his veins”. Not a very good year for the billionaire’s big yachts of shipyards of the unemployed who depended on wealthy shipowners for their bread and butter. Stimson’s loyal and beloved daughter Candance (she never marries) may have been watching too, as America’s premier yacht racing woman skipper who sailed across a stormy transatlantic race in the 1905 Kaiser Cup, one for the record books.

More inquiries from US citizens and others seek assistance from the State Department. Desperate relatives are at a loss how to safely send urgently needed foodstuffs and money to family relatives and friends in the US. Kelley generally replied with a standard official format. “I have to inform you,” Kelley wrote in his letter written June 3, 1932 to F. W. Gertner of Westbrook, Minnesota, “that his Government does not maintain in Russia any representatives or stores. The Am-Derutra Transport Corporation, 261 Fifth Avenue, New York City, states that it is prepared to accept deposits which may be used by persons in Russia to make purchases of foodstuffs, clothing, and other commodities in ‘Torgsin’ stores which are maintained in approximately fifty cities in that country. Although the Department cannot, of course, assume any responsibility for the integrity of the corporation in question, it is suggested that you may desire to communicate with it…” He enclosed a list of banks “to transmit funds to Russia”. (SDDF 861.48/2427)


Before his 1931 summer jaunt across Ukraine with Heinze, Gareth Jones placed his political article “Poland’s Foreign Relations” in London’s The Contemporary Review. Published in July his story is good reading in the prestigious journals racked next to Foreign Affairs at State or in any of the CFR-RIIA clubs. One of Stalin’s greatest fears is that trouble in the Ukraine might provoke Poland’s expansion to the East.

Jones is a shrewd political observer; his analysis of the problems in Poland provide a perch to look more closely at the problems in the Ukraine. “Geography teaches Poland to be wary,” Jones writes, and he adds, “Her straddling frontiers run for thousands of miles through the flat European plain. Not a single mountain bars the way to foreign troops; there is hardly a hillock between Warsaw and the Urals… Poland’s economic structure necessitates an outlet to the sea, which raises formidable barriers against friendship with Germany…”

“On her western frontier, therefore, Poland feels no security. Neither have her relations with Soviet Russia inspired her with great faith in her eastern neighbour, in spite of the signing of the Litvinov Protocol (1929) for the Renunciation of War. Poland has a propaganda value to the Communist Party. Soviet organs and theatres never cease vilifying the Poles in caricatures and plays, in order to provide an outlet for popular dissatisfaction and to unite the peoples of the Union in the face of the so-called menace of intervention from Poland. It is the belief in Moscow that war between the capitalist states and Communist Russia is inevitable and that Poland is destined to be the cats paw of France, America and Britain. In the Soviet Union propaganda banners blare out the slogans ‘The Imperialists of the West are preparing war on Soviet Russia.’Great stress is laid on the war industry and everything is done to inculcate a military spirit into the masses. The Soviet child is taught that Bessarabia is Soviet territory temporarily in the possession of Rumania and that it was snatched away from the socialist fatherland by the capitalists. Poland cannot remain unperturbed by these developments in Russia, especially since most Poles remember that ten years ago the Soviet troops came within sight of Warsaw. Nevertheless, there is more fear of Germany than of Russia in Poland… It is true that many observers in Warsaw consider that the present Soviet Union is weak and would never wage war, and that only a Bolshevik Russia would allow Poland to retain territories with a non-Polish population.”

“The Manchester Guardian has done a great service in calling the attention of the world to the treatment of the Ukrainians. It omitted, however, to give sufficient space to the provocations which led to the Polish pacification. During centuries the hatred between Ukrainian and Pole has flared up from time to time. Gogol in his Tarass Bulba describes vividly the wars between the Cossacks in the Ukraine and the Catholic Poles. The antagonism is not only that between two nations, it is also the jealousy of one social class for another. In Eastern Galicia the Pole has been the conqueror, the landowner, the administrator, and the Ukrainian peasant has always looked upon him as the oppressor; the peasant wants more land and the land is in the possession of the Poles. Added to these sources of grievance are the clashes and jealousies of the Catholics and the Uniates. And so the movement for Independence flourishes. In September, 1930, after a series of fires, caused according to some by Ukrainian revolutionaries and according to others by peasants anxious to receive insurance money, a pacification began. Troops were sent to villages in Eastern Galicia. Peasants were flayed; there were burnings and searchings, and deeds of cruelty and brutality were committed.

“The oppression of the Ukrainians takes on a more serious aspect when we remember that in that remote corner is the frontier line between Soviet Russia and the rest of Europe. The five to seven million Ukrainians in Poland have twenty-five to thirty million fellow-countrymen across the border.”

“On the Soviet side of the frontier, although any anti-Communist independence movement is instantly crushed, every effort is made to encourage the Ukrainian language, literature, schools and art. The Soviet Press knows how to describe in lurid terms the fate of the oppressed peasants in Poland. A dissatisfied Ukraine smarting under the memory of the Polish pacification can be no source of strength to Poland. The recent events have put more barriers than ever in the way of those who support the policy once advocated by Marshal Pilsudski of a Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian Federation. To describe the oppression of the minorities and to go no further does not give a true picture of the situation. There have been serious provocations. In the Ukraine the U.M.O., or the Ukrainian Military Organisation, is working by illegal means for independence. It is accused of receiving funds from Berlin. Last autumn it started on a campaign which led to the burning of Polish cottages and barns. The final aim of the other main Ukrainian party, the U.N.D.O., is also an independent Ukrainian national state.” (italics added)

In October 1931 as Russia awaits the harsh Russian winter now only a few weeks away when many more people will die, Gareth Jones and Jack Heinz return to London and the calamity that awaits them there. Moving from hotspot to hotspot, from the fire into the pot, Jones warns the British that the storm of the Terror-Famine is mounting in force, already taking untold thousands of victims by death and imprisonment and famine that will surely strike with full force just around the corner in the early months of spring. And doing their part the editors at The Times again publish Jones’ unsigned series “The Real Russia” (October 14-16).

Here are some extracts from the first article titled “The Peasant on the Farms”: “Increase and its cost”, “The Outlook for the Plan”,“From the farm to the factory”, “Youth and the future, A blessed word”:

“Among some young peasants there is an enthusiasm for socialisation in which a love of machines plays a great part. This is a favourable sign for the future of socialistic agriculture in the Soviet Union. It is being developed by the spreading of education on Communist lines throughout the country. The fight against illiteracy is being taken with admirable energy. Campaigns to encourage the peasants to study are carried on by the Communist Pioneers and the Komsomoltsi (young Communists), and pamphlets and books are spread by the million. The electrification of the villages will impress youth. The clubs are rallying points for young people of the villages and by radio and visitors from the towns, by films and lectures, their minds are being molded along Communist lines. A battle royal is being waged for the mind and heart of the young peasant. Will he cling to the ‘Land and Liberty’ ideal of his parents and grandparents or will he firm himself into a socialistic system of agriculture.

Will the peasant be happy as a cog in a great agricultural wheel, or will he always yearn for his little patch, his own cow, and freedom to buy and sell as he wishes? The next few decades will show.”(italics added)

“The collectivization of agriculture, which, at the sacrifice of happiness of the peasant gives the government control over Russia’s grain, and the businesslike programme outlined by Stalin in June, are two factors which point to a coming improvement in the industrial situation and to a strengthening of the regime itself. A third factor is the springing up of this new generation, which has it’s schooling in the Soviet State and has no recollection of life in pre-Revolutionary days. It is upon the youth of the country that the Bolshevist leaders set their highest hopes; and it is upon them that powerful influences are working which in time will result in the emergence of a new type of citizen. The main influences are Communist education the worship of the machine, anti-religious agitation, militarisation and the propaganda for world revolution.”

“Communist education now lays the greatest stress upon the part, which the future citizen must play in production. Three years ago the ‘polytechnical’ school was introduced. Under the ‘polytechnical’ system each school has an agreement with a factory or with a collective farm which the pupils visit regularly to study methods of production. It is remarkable to note what importance is attached to the word ‘production’, a word, which is surrounded with a halo of respect. At an early age children are introduced to factory life and learn to handle machines. An enthusiasm for technical things is engendered, and the knowledge, which children have of machinery, is surprising. As it was the ideal of the Prussian child to become an officer, so it is now the ideal to become ideal of a Soviet child to become an engineer. At present a widespread campaign is being conducted for compulsory education for all and the cult of the machine will thus be extended to the farthest parts of the Soviet Union. Processions of children are seen marching with banners bearing such inscriptions as ‘Obligatory education is the basis of the cultural revolution’; ‘Give us technical power’; ‘For a seven-year education’; ‘Let us fight for the Plan, for the speed, for the carrying out the Plan in four years.’ Technical and political toys are encouraged among children. In shop windows one can see “A Mass Political Toy according to the resolution of the 16th Congress of the All-Russian Communist Party” called ‘To catch up and surpass the Capitalist Countries, the carrying out of the Five-Years Plan in Industry.’

“Political education is given in schools along the lines of the principle ‘History is the record of class struggles.’ Such an education is a narrow basis for the rearing of a new generation, especially when one considers that music, art and literature are all subordinated to a political aim. ‘Art is agitation’ such is the teaching that guides the Communist thinkers. It is inconceivable that there should not be some day a reaction against this limited conception of all branches of learning as weapons of class warfare.

“Anti-propaganda is carried on among youth and is achieving distinct success, for the children readily believe what is taught in the schools.

A religious Leningrad mother bewailed the fact that her 10-year old daughter had recently returned from her class and had demanded: ‘Show me God! You cannot. There is no God.’ Throughout the country posters proclaim: ‘Religion is a weapon for oppression’, while cartoons lampoon the priest as the tool of the Capitalist and a friend of the interventionist. The Communists try to establish a close connection between drink and religion. Posters frequently to be observed are ‘Alcohol is the friend of religion’ and ‘The man who makes home-brew and the illegal trader in spirits are allies of the Pope.’

“This bitter propaganda often produces an effect quite different from that which it intends. Adherents of religious sects are numerous and among the Communists themselves there are many who pay lip service to atheism but who at heart are believers. On priest told of the Communist in his village who on his deathbed confessed his belief in God. There are many thousands of Christians enrolled in the Young Communist League. ‘I am a believer,’ said a schoolteacher, ‘but I cannot repeat Communist speeches as eloquently as any Commissar in Moscow. If I do not become a Young Communist I shall not receive a good education, so I pretend to rejoice in their long-winded foreign words like “industrialization”, but what my tongue says my heart does not believe.’ Never the less, among young people religion is now losing ground and together with the lessening of the religious basis, stable family is in the towns also losing its importance.

“An alarming and potent influence upon youth is the extreme militarisation of the country. A jingoistic spirit is being fostered in the Soviet Union and the firm belief in the inevitability of war, which is to result in the inevitability of the war which is to result from the clash of the Capitalistic and Communist system leads to an intensification of war training. In the theatre one reads the appeal in large red and white letters: ‘Be prepared at any moment to defend your Socialistic fatherland.’ In the interval between two acts of a brilliant performance in an opera house a gas mask demonstration may take place. Dominating the militarisation of the Soviet Union lies the fear of foreign intervention, and its guiding principle is the quotation from Lenin: ‘No revolution can last unless it can defend itself.’ Lenin’s study of Clausewitz is today bearing fruit in the stress laid upon military science. Members of the Young Communist League are urged to be leaders in the task of spreading military knowledge. A powerful instrument for the training of the civilian population is the Ossoariakhim (Society for Aviation and Chemical Defense), which now numbers 11,000,000 members. This has numerous branches in factories and collective farms, where men and women alike receive training in shooting and in the use of gas masks. In many factories regular military exercises are obligatory for party members and the young Communists. Communists share this keenness on preparedness for war in the villages and even peasants living thousands of miles away from the borders have received anti-gas practice. In one collective farm the church, which had been closed, was to be turned in to a house of Culture, a section of which was to be devoted to military purposes.

“In spite of the thorough militarisation of Soviet Russia, there is no feeling of aggression but a keen desire for peace, based on the necessity of good relations with the capitalist powers, essential for the industrialisation of the country. Nothing is less desirable to the Kremlin than a foreign adventure, which would threaten the fulfillment of the Five-Years Plan. Moreover the Soviet Union is now concentrating upon her own affairs and eager to realise ‘Socialism in one country’, a policy, which Trotsky condemns from afar as ‘National Communism’ and a betrayal of Marx and Lenin. It is true that the inevitability of world revolution and the ultimate formation of a World Union of Socialist Soviet Republics are convictions as unshakeable as ever. But in spite of the world crisis they are no longer represented as imminent realities. As a consequence the youth of Russia is encouraged to devote itself to the economic tasks of national construction and the prestige of the Third International has suffered a sad decline. No longer the headquarters of the leaders of the Government, it has become the resort of nonentities and it has to subordinate its revolutionary ardour to the cold common sense of the Foreign Office, which prefers not to risk valuable credits and machinery for the sake of a weak revolution in Germany. Serious disturbances abroad or revolts, which the Russian Communists would be morally bound to aid would be a setback to their plans of industrialization and are depreciated until the time when the Soviet Union will be stronger.

“Such are the outstanding influences to which the younger generation in Russia are exposed. The power of the Communist Party to mold youth along the lines they desire is increased by the unity of the party, which has been achieve after a bitter struggle against right and left opposition. Rarely has there been less dissension within the ranks as to the policy to be pursued. Never the less, the movement in Soviet Russia to transform men and women into the cogs of a great productive wheel and to crush all thought which clashes with the official philosophy is faced with two insurmountable barriers. These are the originality of the Russian mind and the human passion for liberty which is intensified by tyranny and which will increase with the spreading of education.

Here are some more extracts from “The Real Russia”, “The Peasant on the farm; Increase and its Cost”:

“… A woman on the boat turned to me and said quietly, “Do you see those? They are kulaks, being exiled, just because they have worked hard throughout their lives. The peasants have been sent away in thousands to starve. It is terrible how they have treated them. They have not been given bread-cards or anything. A large number were sent to Tashkent and were left bewildered on the town square. They did not know what to do and very many starved to death.”

“…Throughout Russia on hears the same tale: ‘They took away our cow. How can it get a better if we have no land and no cow?’ The cry of the Russian peasant has always been ‘Land and Liberty’, and it is the same cry today.”

“… In one collective farm one old white-haired man bowed deeply and groaned: ‘Have pity on me! My courtyard is empty. Three horses and three cows have they taken from me and now they are getting thin and scraggy because they are not well kept. How can I get enough to eat? It is a dog’s life.’ A woman was passing and stopped to shriek at him.

“Its little pity you deserve! You had your horses. You had your cows and you had little pity for us poor peasants then. I had no cow and no horse. I am better off under the kolkhoz.”

“The Outlook for the Plan – From the farm to the Factory: …They [workers] are forced, they complain to buy on the private market at exorbitant, prices and even then they remain hungry. Among the general workers there is little of that faith in the future, which is so striking in the Communist. Disbelief in the newspapers and in propaganda is widespread. On being confronted by some figures showing that the Five-Years Plan was being completed in two and half years, one factory worker replied: ‘You cannot eat figures. The Five-Years Plan is on paper. You see that tree over there; it is no apple tree, is it? But the Communists say. “Tomorrow that tree has to grow apples”.’

“… But it is, above all, the nervous strain caused by under-nourishment and over-crowding that makes the life of the average Russian a misery. He blames not only the export of food, but also the bad distribution and delays, which result in the food supplies arriving in a decayed state.

Still optimistic to the point of incredulity that Lee and his crowd would sit by passively indifferent in their baronial exclusion at their summer estates in Maine or aboard their stately yachts watching the towering J-Boats of the America’s Cup from their estates at Newport the Long Island Sound shoreline.

On Sunday, October 14 Jones banged away at his typewriter the notes of his interview during the previous August 25 when he sat with Karl Radek, Comintern Bolshevik friend of Lenin and Trotsky, now editor at Izvestiia , and shot by Stalin six years later in 1937. Radek (his real name is Tobiach Sobelsohn) had been part of the inner circle of 1917 Jewish revolutionaries in Petrograd in charge of International Revolutionary Propaganda working with foreigners including Americans John Reed, Boris Rheinstein, Alexander Gumberg, brother of the Bolshevik Zorin, and Rhys Albert Williams. Ivy Lee received Jones’ report in New York and filed it away in his papers now at Princeton University. Jones meets the prominent Bolshevik Radek in the offices of the Izvestiia . (Remember reader, Jones is fluent in Russian.) There is no mention of American banks or corporate investments. Radek cautions Jones, however, “It is nonsense to say that Russia will be independent and self-sufficient. The more a country develops, the greater will its trade be.” Other extracts of his interview include: “For the next twenty years, we in the Soviet Union will be absolutely occupied with internal developments. In the next twenty years Russia will develop her internal market. The masses need so much. The peasants want better clothing and objects they never dreamed of. The situation of dumping is false. If we could receive a higher price for our goods we should be very glad. Thus we have every reason for peaceful and better relations with other countries. Relations will, I believe improve. There is now an argument for a more quiet policy. We are getting stronger in Russia. Every year more peasants realise that a tractor is better than a horse.”

In the twenties Radek had organized underground communist cells inside Germany. Under Stalin’s guard he deliberately holds his radical tongue in check; anyway, he isn’t in charge of foreign policy. The Germans and Soviets have extensive programs of secret military cooperation and commercial agreements. Germany remains Russia’s premier trading partner. Radek dismisses Soviet communist insurgency inside Germany. “We should be obliged to help them. I do not think that a German revolution is a concrete possibility present… Every people must be its own saviour. The German workers know, moreover, that if there were a revolution, they would have to fight from the first day against intervention. Because of Germany’s situation between imperialistic France and Poland, a revolution there would be a difficult question. Moreover, a revolution in an industrial country like Germany would be difficult because Germany depends on raw materials from other countries … war with Soviet Russia would be very difficult.” But Radek is more accurate on his assessment of France. “Before the War, France made Russia a tool against Germany…The Treaty of Versailles will not be a basis of the world’s relations. It would be in the interest of France to revise what cannot last in the Treaty.”

On the state of the world economic depression Radek seriously misjudges the future. “It is not the last crisis of capitalism. It will end. America and France have great resources. Ford will produce more at the expense of Great Britain and Germany. The capitalistic world will never again have a period of general prosperity but the greatest powers will be stronger in relation to the others.”

Yet Radek is right about the eclipse of England’s power superseded by American capitalists. “The greatest danger for England is not the English Communism but American capitalism. Montague Norman hates Mr. Strauss more than Pollitt.”* Radek described the Comintern “like the Daughters of the American Revolution.” On relations with America, he said “You ask how could relations improve between the United States and the Soviet Union: “First, end embargoes and troublesome crusades. Secondly, development is not possible without political recognition. Thirdly, you should end the ‘America for the Americans’ attitude. You are not more realistic than some of our Komsomoltai who think we shall have the whole world in our hands in Five-Years time. “We are a country like America. Without your help, development would be slower, but there is no power which can check us… We shall not intervene in other countries. History will decide which system is better. We are absolutely convinced that the Socialist system will win.” (*Harry Pollitt (1890-60) General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain for more than twenty years.)

When Lenin invites the capitalists to launch his NEP in 1921 neither Lenin nor Radek bargained that the Wall Street capitalists would ever crash their own market. But that’s exactly what happened when the Fed dropped interest rates and Consortium kingpins Baruch, Dillon, and Morgan insiders Lamont and Morrow among them cash out early and grab their gains cleaning out the losers left holding the empty bag. Some insiders lost, too, but for the most part they are bailed out by their friends or have deep pockets to weather the storm. Harriman,for example, bails out Prescott Bush – son of Sam and father of George – , caught holding a ton of worthless paper.

A few weeks later Radek is publicly embroiled in a national book scandal over America’s role of armed intervention during the Bolshevik Civil War during Wilson’s administration. It returns to haunt the Department’s Russian section. General Graves, head of the 1919 American invasion force recounts in America’s Siberian Adventure the controversial role of 7,000 American soldiers under his command.

Now key Consortium players at State are publicly implicated in the controversy that for a decade had remained buried by the press. Gen. Graves writes, “DeWitt Poole, who afterward is chief of the Russian Division … proved by his support of Kolchak that he was opposed to non-interference in Russian affairs,’ as proclaimed by American policy.” Gen. Kolchak and his Cossacks were a ruthless enemy of Trotsky’s Red Army. On November 17, 1931 Izvestiia publishes Radek’s review of the book with the header “Where rumors originate, and where Interventions are given birth.” A translated version is sent to Washington by Cole on December 4, 1931.

In his review Radek declares that Graves “did not want to shed the blood of American soldiers for stopping the spreading of communism”. During the conflict Graves narrowly avoids a direct clash against a superior Japanese force which landed 92,000 troops in the Far East allied his with Cossacks under Kalmykov and Semenov. Then, and for many years after, Graves is denounced as a Bolshevik and ordered to return home hounded by “American police spies who were watching his activities”. At issue are the actual real politik of intentions, alliances and links between the Consortium’s interventionist adventure into post-Czarist Soviet Russia, an episode in US military and diplomatic history that State wishes to mask. There is more to this than splitting hairs or opening old wounds to settle grudges of exiled White Russians embittered by alleged pro-Bolshevik military operations of the American forces under Graves’ command. The controversy persists into the next year. A translation of an article appears in Pravda September 8, 1932 titled “American Generals Learning a Historical Lesson” and is sent to the State Department to be preserved in the archives. Written by a former White army officer G. Vasilkovski, Cole finds it merits dispatching home on October 5, 1932.

The White Russian officer Vasilkovski declared that the Japanese had informed Gen. Graves that they would “not permit the Cossacks to be attacked, and if the Americans did, the Japanese would join hands with the Cossacks and together with them fight the Americans.” It’s another anecdote in the unfolding mystery of what really happened during the armed interventionist period; the job of cleansing the Wilson-Graves-Kolchak saga of confused and changing alliances is left to George Kennan, State’s junior Russian observer at Riga and Bullitt’s embassy aide. Kennan is also State’s ace in the deck, and its hack ghost writer for the Holodomor cover-up. (SDDF 861.51/, 861.00/11502)

This year 1931 Bullitt writes Col. House from London and Europe, sending out feelers that he’s available if Roosevelt wins presidency. On December 1931, two years before the normalization of US-Soviet relations by Roosevelt, Bullitt informs House that he expects the Soviets “to concentrate on their internal reconstruction and ignore slaps from Japan, feeling sure that in ten years they will be strong enough to regain in the Far East anything they may now lose.” Already, signs of American economic assistance under President Hoover’s administration were proving successful. Bullitt agreed. “Literally everyone on the continent expects a development of dictatorships and state socialism, labeled Fascism or Communism, but essentially similar,” Bullitt writes House, and he adds, “Common sense and the spirit live and let live are momentarily conspicuous in their absence” making no sense at all, which was typical Bullitt. Nothing is said, nor even the slightest hint by Bullitt of terror or famine. House understood Bullitt as a younger man’s need to get back into the circle of Wilsonian Democrats clustering around Roosevelt on his road to the White House. “I also want him to know”, House assures Bullitt, “what a valuable ally you will make in his treatment of foreign affairs should he become president which he now seems fairly certain to become.” (W. C. Bullitt to E. M. House Dec.13, 1931, E. M. House to W. C. Bullitt Dec. 28, 1931, W. C. Bullitt Papers Yale Archives; M. Cassella-Blackburn)

House played his customary role, pawn-pusher on the chessboard of power. He now uses Bullitt to get closer to Roosevelt and influence both. Less than three weeks pass when on January 20, 1932 House contacts Bullitt again and tells him “I called up the Governor at Albany and told him of the privileged granted you in the House of Commons. He was interested beyond measure and said that it would afford us valuable opportunities in the event we desired them.” Still out of the loop Bullitt writes House now wintering on his farm in Beverly, Massachusetts. Bullitt is full of bombast, lacking privileged access to secret negotiations, and assumes a slick and cocky demeanor much as he had during his hurried 1919 mission between London and Moscow to meet with Lenin. Comical in the absurd, the bench-sitter impatient for his chance up at bat to change the world. “The flounderings in Geneva this week”, he writes House, “made me itch to be back in the game – and I am sure that you too must have pawed the earth when you read about the meetings… How we could have handled that crew!”

By late April 29, Bullitt is becoming increasingly anxious. He feels time is running out and he knows House carries weight among the Consortium men. Bullitt volunteers to act as a confidence man in European political and diplomatic circles. For who? For Roosevelt? For House? For the State Department? He doesn’t say, nor does House bring him in. Not yet anyway. Bullitt is desperate, nearly at the end of his rope, impatient and without alternatives. He asks House pointblank, “Do you think that it might be worthwhile for me to poll Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Paris, and London before returning to the US for the campaign?” He needs House again as before. “I should like to be useful,” and he implores House, “Tell me how to be.” Three weeks pass before he reads House’s reply. House is vague and only offers encouragement “to see you play a great part in foreign affairs during the next administration … provided our crowd is successful.” This is on the eve of his departure to Moscow to try to collect on National City loans. Odd that Casella-Blackburn blithely ignores this critical document… (Col. House to W. C. Bullitt, May 11, 1932; M. Cassella-Blackburn, 76)

Again Bullitt persists. He reaches out apparently using his own private funds to cover expenses traveling on his own account to Prague and Warsaw. From Moscow he writes House late May, more specific now about the urgency of Manchuria, – then hot in the headlines – and casts a hint to recapture the spirit of conspirators mindful of their past intriguing with Litvinov and Lenin. He teases House with some more innuendo of his eagerness to serve. “It will be worth while also to know what Litvinov and Stalin plan to do about Japan’s performance.” Bullitt tells House he’s in touch with Litvinov, that he was to see him for lunch. But the meeting was suddenly canceled. He hamps up his role again, acting like a special agent, the shrewd court prince. After all, no one really knew what he is up to, who he was working for, nor did they ever, nor why he was there, nor who really sent him. In a world of mirrors there is no end to illusion and deception. Moscow is a city of perpetual rumors where usually the only confirmation is a body. But there Bullitt was again. Only this time it’s Stalin inside the impregnable fortress of the totalitarian machine where in every Party congress the spasm of the greatest industrial revolution ever undertaken in the history of the world sputters and roars on with thundering propaganda and those terrified clapping comrades. Poor Mr. Bullitt. He would never be a match for the crude leering wolf at home in his den. No one reached out to him there now. Once in Moscow he doesn’t know where to turn, who to see, where to go.

Its May 1932 and a wonderful time to be in Moscow celebrating the success of the Five-Year Plans. Yet Bullitt, the journalist and insightful visionary who claims to see into the deep recesses of the psyche, the friend of Lenin, Freud and House is unable to leave any lasting impression of what he witnessed. Stalin and the Party give him the snub. Why is this American now here in Moscow poking his nose into Soviet secrets? What does he want? Who is he working for? Why has he come here now to spy? Everyone was suspicious, everyone suspect. In the Soviet Union no one is above suspicion and certainly not the foreigner. This is the nature of the place. That alone is enough to arouse his curiosity. Just looking around? Nothing to offer, nothing to sell? It is not possible and they know it. The Terror-Famine is raging the countryside. Street markets display fewer goods. Food shortages strain the cities. Homeless peasant orphans in rags beg for breadcrumbs and dollars. The US Riga Legation too wonders what Bullitt is doing there. It would be unreasonable for anyone not to suspect that Roosevelt and the Democrats had sent him. If Bullitt wanted to be invisible then why was it so easy to find him? Was the brash upstart stepping too far ahead of the Game? About the encroaching Holodomor Bullitt sends no reports, not a word of it appears anywhere. The embassy set must have wondered just where next Bullitt is going to hang his hat. In the White House?

Bullitt could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately for America and the world he has a knack for that. A John Reed, his nemesis and alter-ego he isn’t’ and never will be. In politics timing is essential, if not crucial to success. Roosevelt’s campaign is heating up. Hoover is in the dumps. Was Bullitt preparing a report for Roosevelt on the Soviet situation? Putting out feelers before secret recognition talks? Was Bullitt planning to collect data on the Ukrainian famine? No, anyway, Riga could do that. Hoover and Stimson were two of the top Consortium men in charge of formulating and executing foreign policy decisions. They already have Haskell and MacMurray in the field. Coming as he did without any backdoor key, Bullitt was strangely out of place, yet there in Moscow he knew it was the right place at the same time. He just knew it. He could feel it. That was why he was there. He was there. And that was enough. And if he was an irritant, he was still a useful irritant. On stage without a role. But only he would know that for sure. Stalin too is closely watching him. Stalin’s eyes see everyone and everything; the Great Dictator is everywhere and the Great Creator of all things in the great Soviet Proletarian Socialist Republic! Bullitt is a spy, – what diplomat is not? Stalin too has his spies. Millions of spies. In the Soviet Union, everyone is a spy. They see everything with shifty eyes and heads that never turn to look back. Litvinov this year knows the campaign for recognition is on the back burner and heating up.

How strange to write this book about the Ukrainians when America is at war in Iraq and the Russians trade nuclear fuel with Iran. Halliburton announced moving its headquarters to Dubai for the reconstruction of Iraq. And who knows, as Seymore Hersh writes in The New Yorker magazine what Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers fame fears to be the certain imminent invasion of Iran. Americans are slow to learn. The War in Iraq is about oil and money. Reconstruction is worth trillions of dollars. It was true about the two World Wars. The profit of reconstruction is invariably the flip side of the profits of fighting a war. Destroy and Build. Ideology is the oil to lubricate the machinery of war and reconstruction. The Bush presidents proved just how useful and mundane words serve their pragmatism and contempt for the good faith and confidence that Americans invest in their elected leaders. From Wilson to FDR and the Bushes, the logic is the same. Stalin’s Soviet socialist reconstruction bear much of the hallmarks of the current Iraqi fiasco of destruction and war. Have no doubt, the Consortium is in control.

History is a process, never-ending, imbued with living revelations. History is never a dead-end, a stone unturned, or an inert and life-less thing, so long as historians are invoked, provoked, and perhaps convoked even, to carry a truth in service of it all, if there is an all-compassing Truth, that ever-elusive noumena of the phenomena. It is more pregnant with potentia than Page’s corporate principles for “truth” as he defined it in that era long before corporations were forced to adapt to ethical codes of conduct or brazenly risk lawsuits over humans rights violations. History is in part a museum relic, piece and parcel of a faded and fragile page torn from the past. It’s not a static entity, or a thing in itself. History is at the same time remote and ever-present. The truth as it was originally lived was imbued with possibilities of situations and people generations ago. Politics slant and spin perspectives fixing them in time for convenience and reflection. New findings provoke fresh insights and discoveries of life as it was or may have been. History brings us back to ourselves in photos, meetings, letters and conversations, anecdotes, telegrams, headlines, memoirs and accounts, in fiction and non-fiction. History takes us to the naked word and its ornate elaborations of intrigue, mystery, sometimes fantastic, and grotesque, sometimes true, often false. The intellectual and artist are not excluded from the stage of actors enacting the drama. Any reading of history brings the spectator shoulder-to-shoulder with a life revisited. History takes us to the crossroads, where we encounter face to face questions that compel and point us in old and new directions where along the way we mix with ghosts and memories of ancestors, predecessors for whom the past was a drama mixed with the present already conditioned for reenactment in the future.

Think about it. As in this story, those many if not the majority of those who died in the Holodomor knew they would perish by starvation, repression or war. Living desperate lives. Quietly or not. You would have to be desperate to survive Stalin’s terror. And yet their lives were the instruments contrived by policies born in an order and deliberately transformed for a future. It was something everyone talked in the Soviet Union , that great future of the liberated individual no longer bound by the authority of the state. The idea now seems almost farcical in retrospect as though people must have been lunatics to imagine life without centralized governments, authoritarian laws and a global family of federal banks. Such as it was we now see things as they were though perhaps it didn’t have to be that way. Every generation wonders how to change society and to make life happier and worth living.

On January 19, 1932 from the White House Hoover announces that Charles Dawes has been chosen to head the Finance Reconstruction Corporation, “the new big corporation which has been created to restore the security and credit of the banks”. Dawes is an unpopular wedge in the State Department hierarchy. In order to settle the squabbling between his lower chiefs Stimson decides to lead the Arms Delegation at Geneva “in Dawes’ place”. That night for dinner Henry Breckenridge and his wife join Stimson along with the President and Mrs. Hoover. Other guests include “Ted” Roosevelt, newly appointed Governor to the Philippines, George Peter, Curtis Bok, Goldthwaite Dorr, Chief Justice Hughes, Bob Bliss, Ambassador to Argentina, and their wives. By mid-spring Hoover will totally astound Stimson with a proposition for the disarmament conference which must have appeared to the veteran statesman who served seven US presidents as the most incredible proposition ever in his long career. Poison gas, tanks, aircraft carriers, offensive airplanes – all of it were to be abolished and “all armies” reduced “by one-third”. Had Hoover fallen off his rocker?

Stimson calls the Hoover disarmament paper “a proposition from Alice in Wonderland”. The orphan son of Quakers born in a one-room house the size of a match-box who became the first graduate of Stanford University, a trained engineer with a degree in geology and who made an early fortune in Australian mines, and speaks Mandarin Chinese… Had he flipped? Or does he see now that the Consortium plan dooms the world to total war and certain annihilation. Instead of more military government contracts employment in defense companies to end the breadlines, did Hoover really believe he could turn back the clock and start again? It recapitulated much of what Hoover and Stimson had talked about at the Rapidan “proposing a thirty per cent cut in the Navy and also the cuts which he was proposing to dictate to the other nations.”

Hoover’s plan “covers these ten points : (1) reduce by one-third the battleship strength of the world as now settled by the Washington and London Naval Treaties; (2) abolish all aircraft carriers; (3) reduce cruiser strength provided for three signatories of the London Treaty by one third, and require that France and Italy undertake no further construction in this category (4) reduce destroyer strength provided for the three signatories of the London Treaty to one-third, and require that France and Italy make no increase in tonnage over her present construction (5) abolish all submarines (6) abolish all military aviation except for scouting purposes (7) abolish all mobile land guns of more than six-inch caliber (8) abolish all tanks (9) abolish poison gas (10) reduce the defense component of all armies by one-third.”

The Secretary has reason to be concerned. “He had been brooding over it ever since the telegram from Stanley Baldwin. I opposed him in the Cabinet… ”, Stimson writes for the record noting in his diary. Baldwin is England’s acting Prime Minister behind the Ramsay MacDonald’s ailing minority coalition; in 1929 Labour returns to power with a majority in the House of Commons but Conservative votes out-numbered them. In 1931 Baldwin and the Conservatives regained power in a frail coalition with Labour. But when MacDonald is expelled from his party Baldwin as Lord President of the Council became de facto Prime Minister. Baldwin (Harrow, Cambridge Trinity College) had once given 20 percent of his private wealth or 150,000 pounds to reduce England’s reparation bill; when he was Financial Secretary to the Treasury during WWI. His family owned an iron and steel business; he secretly urges the rich to repay the UK war debt. Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley is the last of six prime ministers to be educated at Cambridge, and upon retirement became its Chancellor. Three times Prime Minister he will serve under three kings; at Baldwin’s funeral in 1947, Churchill proffered a dubiously respectful tribute remembering him as “the most formidable politician I ever encountered”.

Baldwin’s telegram and Hoover’s disarmament memorandum that spring 1932 bridged the two powers when, – as Baldwin recalled four years later, – there was “probably a stronger pacifist feeling running through the country than at any time since the War”. Pacifism prevails during the next two years until Churchill’s initiative late 1934 moved England to rearm the RAF on par with the Luftwaffe. In 1932 Baldwin believes as he put it “great armaments lead inevitably to war”, but by November he begins to retract that stance and declares “the time has come to end when Great Britain can proceed with unilateral disarmament”. During the first part of the Disarmament Conference Baldwin states on November 10, 1932: “Whatever people may tell him, the bomber will always get through. The best defense is in offense, which means you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves… But when the next war comes, and European civilization is wiped out, as it will be, and by no force more than that force, then do not let them lay blame on the old men. Let them remember that they, principally, are responsible for the terrors that have fallen upon this earth.”

Stimson recovers from his initial shock, and later notes in his diary: “But really so far as a practical proposition is concerned, to me it is just a proposition from Alice in Wonderland. It is no reality, but is just as bad as it can be in its practical effect… I pointed out to the President that there was only one point that would really affect the economies he wanted and that was the point on cruisers. Battleships we don’t have to touch: we are putting no expense on that. On the other hand, in abolishing airplane carriers, he is striking at the one weapon in which we have made great strides recently. Neither France, nor Italy, nor Japan will dream of giving up submarines; and, as I said before, it will not affect the land forces.” (HLS Diary)


If they had bothered to check their compass course Stimson and the Consortium gang might have checked for deviations with their Comrade in the Kremlin. Stalin wasted no time. The start of an intense pacification of the Ukrainians has since the start of the new year. On January 3, 1932, at a meeting of the Politburo of the CC CP(B)U) the top communist hierarchy debated Stalin and Molotov’s telegram ordering a merciless state procurement of Ukrainian grain. Stalin is well aware that over half of the grain needed to feed the USSR comes from the Ukraine and its rich black soil now covered with snow. Eighty-three senior-ranking officials are dispersed in great haste south throughout the Ukraine in order to organize the Party’s implementation of grain seizures and all the food they can get their hands on. By special resolution the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (CC AUCP) officially declared February 1932 the militant shock month to complete the USSR state grain seizures. This is no small decree. The whole nation is alerted. A terrible doom March and April 1932 falls upon village after village throughout the Ukraine as large numbers of starving people are subdued. Orphaned children roam the cities.

Reports continue to arrive at the State Department imploring for humanitarian assistance. The Lutherans played their part in the Russian-Soviet imbroglio. John A. Morehead, president of the Lutheran World Convention writes the State Department on January 30, 1932 asking for assistance to aid German-Russians in Harbin, some 1,200 to 1,500 persons “who escaped over the border from Siberia at the risk of their lives”. All are now destitute refugees in Chinese Manchuria. Among the lot are some 397 German-Russian refugees including “Mennonites, Lutherans, Baptists, and Catholics” – but no Ukrainians. “They were formerly prosperous farmers (Kulaks), mainly from the Volga Valley and South Russia.”, Morehead states and with particular emphasis he adds, “Under the process of the collectivization of agriculture under the five-year plan of the soviet Government they were deprived of their farms and personal property and exiled to Siberia. Under the hardships of their life in Siberia, with its forced labor and the under-nourishment of their children, they were constrained to escape… Their fellow-Christians in other lands have for many months been helping to supply them…” But Castle readily cuts him off with the Department’s official policy and he tells the Lutheron dignitary “as the refugees are not American citizens and as their status is one which concerns the foreign relations of China and Russia, the Department is not in a position to take any further steps”. There is nothing the State Department will do to help. It is time to go away! Be happy you are not in Siberia! (SDDF 861.48/ Refugees 93/50 reel 31)

The US Legation in Tallinn, Estonia sends dispatch No. 215 February 23, 1932 to Washington and Riga containing a translated report from an unnamed high-ranking Estonian diplomat and sent from chargé d’affaires Harry E. Carlson (1886-48). Carlson, from Illinois, was forty when he first arrived here in 1926; he stays until the Department shake-up in 1937. By the time Carlson and his wife are gone, three years later the Soviets exploit the German-Soviet Pact and invade Estonia on their way into Finland. Stalin deports some 22,000 Estonians to Siberia. Eleven years in the Balkans watching the Russians.

From this listening post in Tallinn and Riga across the border not far from Leningrad Carlson will hear as much as anyone can about the Holodomor. He and wife Laura serve Estonia with passion and genuine care for the Estonian people. Harry and Laura loved Estonian culture and enjoy the romantic style of Tallinn’s medieval architecture. Here the capitol of Tallinn looks West, not East; ships and small yachts of the port head to Finland and Sweden, not Russia. They lived much like a native couple enjoying the summers in their homes in Haapsalu and Valgejoe. Harry’s passion for fishing amused the Estonians charmed by his amiable nature. In 1932 the Estonian government honored him and his wife with the Order of the Estonian Red Cross 2nd Class for their humanitarianism when they helped civilians during Estonia’s War of Independence. Before the First World War, Carlson had been an elementary school teacher in Lafayette, Louisiana and taught at the National Cathedral School for boys in Washington DC. Then when war came he serves as Vice Consul in Frankfurt, and Christiania (Oslo), Norway before arriving in Lithuania as full Consul in 1924 and stationed further north in Tallinn.

Carlson reads the translated Latvian document Carlson citing “the liquidation of Trotski” late 1931 and describes the general opposition to Soviet government as “a ‘right inclination’, particularly in the Caucasus…” that has since been “radically liquidated”. But Trotsky is still alive in the USSR. Soon he will be banished, then exiled out of the country. The Holodomor and Stalin usurpation of Party power are completely incongruous with the fragile hiatus of peace sustained by economic prosperity and government guarantees for minimum prices for butter and eggs and subsidies to farmers who bought virgin lands to cultivate. All that helps make Carlson’s life endurable and not entirely unpleasant while Estonia’s political leaders balance the last years of any semblance of freedom in their lifetime here on a tightrope between Berlin and Moscow. When France falls to Nazi Germany on June 18, 1940, Estonia is taken prey to Moscow; Commissar Zhdanov arrived the next day and by August 5 it the proud population is imprisoned as another Soviet Republic. On a single day, June 14, 1941, the Soviets herd 10,000 men women and children from their homes and sent them to Siberia; at most only a few hundred would ever see their country again. In 1991 after the collapse of the USSR Estonia is the first Soviet Republic to strike back and regain its freedom and immediately recognized by the United States, an event deeply cherished by the population speaking English and no longer bound by the Russian tongue they so passionately despised.

Death by starvation and political repression is not exactly his cup of tea. But Carlson is well-familiar with gruesome reports on Bolshevik terror ever since the first days of revolution. Here Carlson notes high-level European diplomatic concern over deteriorating conditions there. Several months have already passed since Stalin’s isolation of opposition by the old-guard Bolsheviks and his putting in place his own people to carry out the new wave of repression in the countryside.

The Carlson dispatch further declares, “At the same time reports appeared in the press that the ‘right inclination’ has become evident among peasants, allegedly a result of secret agitation by the kulaks. It was feared that this tendency among the peasants would have a very retarding effect on the completion of harvests. These assumptions appear to have been correct inasmuch as the general pace of harvesting and delivery of grain to the Government presented disagreeable surprises to the leaders. There were given a number of extremely resolute instructions, the personnel of the Kolkhozes were checked up, but these measures failed to increase enthusiasms among the members thereof. Furthermore, when it became evident that the workers on Kolkhozes had to yield to the Government at official prices that part of their compensation in kind for piece work which was in excess of the officially designated subsistence reactions, there began an increased movement from the country to the cities.”

Harry Carlson takes particular exception to Stalin’s handling of political opposition. “The question of prices,” he declares, “was also given consideration at the plenary session of the Party’s central committee October 28-30, 1931 and a resolution was passed to avoid increases in prices by all means.” He goes on. “This is a wish,” the American observed, “which is difficult to accomplish under the present circumstances. In the first place it seems that goods, especially foodstuffs, will not be produced for the domestic market in such quantities as to bring about decreases in prices, since the fiscal plan provides for an increase in the quantity of export goods to offset the falling of prices. The production of agricultural products was already in 1931 appreciably smaller than in 1930.” With catastrophe under their feet and over their heads, the American combed the Soviet scene for more tremors of the unfolding debacle inside the soviet economy. “In the Commissariat of Agriculture”, he notes, “three acting commissars were transferred (seemingly due to misunderstandings in connection with grain harvests and deliveries).” Shot would have been closer to the truth but Carlson doesn’t say. All during his tenure there he most definitely has had access to countless similar reports on alarming conditions contributing to the Holodomor yet only a few remain in declassified government files. His peers were satisfied that Harry Carlson did his job well earning a transfer to London in 1937. When the US officially recognizes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Carlson is promoted ambassador to the Baltic States.