The Russian Soviet Republic

By Edward Alsworth Ross | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
ALLIED PLOTS

AT the beginning of September, 1918, was exposed a web of Ally intrigue and conspiracy which brings us into the atmosphere of medieval Italy or of the barbarian countries of the Near East. The Tcheka made known that the chief of the British mission, Lockhart, the same Lockhart, who, as we have seen, in May gratefully acknowledged various instances of Trotsky's willingness to work with the Allies-- together with the French Consul-General Grenard, the French General Lavergne, and others, had conspired to bring about the capture of the Council of People's Commissars and the setting up of a military dictatorship in Moscow.

A British agent, Shmedken, was sent to Moscow to sound out the commander of the Lettish Sharpshooters, a reliable regiment of convinced Communists. He brought about a meeting on August 14 between this commander ( Berzin) and Lockhart. At this meeting was discussed the possibility of organizing soon a rising in Moscow against the Soviet Government. Further negotiations took place on August 17 between Berzin and the British Lieutenant Riley. It was planned that the overthrow should occur in Moscow within two or three weeks. The scheme was to bag the entire Soviet cabinet ( Council of People's Commissars) at one of its plenary sessions. At the same moment the state bank and the central telephone and telegraph station were to be seized and all public meetings prohibited under pain of death until the arrival of the British military authorities from the North. The heads of the church were to prepare the minds of the pious for this stroke by uttering prayers and sermons all over

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