Sir E. Howard to Mr. Balfour. ― (Received August 20.)
(Telegraphic.) Stockholm, August 19, 1918.
FOLLOWING is a summary of the more important points in a series of despatches from Mr. Wardrop, at Moscow :―
"August 5.―About 4:30 this morning a band of ten armed men attacked consulate- general and demanded admittance. Without my authority one of the inmates of the house opened the door, being threatened with fire - arms. This was the fourth armed raid on the premises.
"Guards left at 5:30 and local commissary expressed his regret at the incident.
"During the morning I learnt of arrest of several British subjects, including Messrs. Armitage, Whitehead, William Cazalet Hastie (over seventy years old), North (chaplain), Beringer (Reuter's agent), and Miss H. Adams, one of my staff. In the afternoon, while Mr. Lockhart was calling, another raid on the premises was made with warrant for arrest of staff. I protested and declared that I only yielded to force. Office was sealed in great detail, seals being attached to every drawer, to both safes, and to all receptacles for papers, also to outer doors to the office rooms. All the staff were then arrested, including Mr. Stevens, Mr. Douglas, and lady clerks, and conveyed to Soviet's police quarters in Tverskoi Boulevard. Mr. Lockhart, Captain Hicks and I were not arrested, as Chicherin had promised that consuls and military missions should not be arrested. Their staffs, however, had not been specifically mentioned. French military attaché, General Lavergne, was liberated after short arrest. Staff were detained. Guards were stationed to watch my premises and I was left in my private apartments there. I do not regard failure to arrest myself and Mr. Lockhart as evidence of intention to treat us better than our staffs, but rather the contrary.
"I do not regard Bolshevik detention of our nationals as aimed at deterring us from vigorous action in distant places, so much as intended to protect Bolshevik leaders on their fall. They are converting houses in centre of the city into improvised fortresses in the belief that there will be soon a serious rising, in which their Allied prisoners will serve as centres. Finally, if they regard all as lost they will probably hound populace on to massacre these prisoners.
"August 6.―Consul Stevens, Vice-Consuls Lowdon and Douglas released about 3 A.M., also North and others, and French Consul - General Grenard and French Consul Labonne, by efforts of Swedish colleague who spent the night in negotiations.
"At 10 P.M. following still detained :―
“Vice-Consuls Wishaw, Greenep, and Jerram, passport officer Webster and his assistant, Ginson senior, Tamplin and Linger of Lockhart's staff, Fritz Mucukalv and the Misses Galbaly and Adams of my staff. Prisoners so far fairly comfortably housed and fed and allowed to associate with one another. Guards conciliatory.
"I am allowed to go in and out, and Mr. Lockhart and his remaining staff can visit me.
"August 7.―I called at temporary prison and saw Greenep, Wishaw, and Jerram. They are all well treated by their guards who are real Russians, unlike most of their leaders, who are either fanatics or Jewish adventurers like Trotsky or Radek.
"All British and French women are now released. Also Mr. Beringer and others.
“August 8.―Wishaw, Greenep, Jerram, and Webster brought here this morning by efforts of my Swedish colleague. Whole staff of consulate-general now at liberty.
"It is also suggested that during our stay at Petrograd we shall be under a Bolshevik guard. Evidently Bolsheviks are trying to prolong negotiations. City is on the whole quiet. All ex-officers under sixty are to report themselves this morning, probably with a view to their arrest, and there are rumours of wholesale arrest of clergy.“