[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]
Letter to Ivy Lee, September 14, 1932.
From the Ivy Lee Archives at the Seeley Mudd manuscript Library, Princeton University.
[See http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead/eadGetDoc.xq?id=/ead/mudd/publicpolicy/MC085.EAD.xml for more details.]
The office of The Rt. Hon. B. Lloyd George, O.M.; M.P.
Thames House, Millbank,
September 15, 1932
Dear Mr Lee,
I am sending you a book on War Debts which has recently been published here and is widely advertised. The approach to the problem strikes me as as a very unfortunate one and I fear that the “Message to America” is not the kind that will help matters. But there are some data which may be of use to you and these I have marked with blue pencil.
It was most kind of you to write an appreciation of my memoranda and I was delighted to get your letter. I have not sent any material lately because I have been working hard on war documents down in my Chief’s [David Lloyd George] country house.
Today I lunched with Mr Woodcock. Last week I had a long talk with Bruce Hopper [a Harvard Professor, who specialised in Soviet Affairs and eventually became a USA advisor on Soviet affairs to the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) after WW2] who has returned from Russia very bearish. I do not know if you saw him or whether you will have a talk with him in New York; in any case this is what he said, briefly. The Soviet Govt. is facing the worst crisis since 1921.
The harvest is a failure and there will probably be great starvation for millions this winter. There is at the present moment a famine in the Ukraine. The collective farms have been a complete failure; and there is now a migration away from the farms. There is simply nothing left in many of the collectives and numbers of peasants from as far south as the Bessarabian frontier have wandered up to Moscow to search for bread. Even the army is short of food and there is grave discontent in it.
Disillusion is spreading rapidly through the ranks of the party. There is now no open opposition, but the silence is dangerous.
Russia, says Hopper, is about to enter a period similar to the NEP. The speeches of Molotov, Yakolev and Krylenko all indicated preparations for big changes.
Hopper’s cook’s rations for four months had been bread and water.
The prospect of exporting grain this winter is very slim and butter is wiped out as an export. Hopper is suspicious as to the amount of the Soviet gold supply and is afraid that the Soviet Union will not meet its obligations.
It would be worth while seeing Hopper when he comes to New York.
Gareth Jones [Signed]
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