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Foreign Relations of the United States

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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919
(1919)

Finland,   pp. 210-227 PDF (5.7 MB)


Page 212

FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1919, VOLUME II
860d.00/374a: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul at Helsingfor8 (Haynes)
WASHINGTON, March 4, 1919, 3 p.m.
Please report fully result of elections indicating especially how
far results indicate a mandate from the people.
POLK
860d.00/380: Telegram
The Coneul at Helsingfors (Haynes) to the Acting Secretary of
State
HIELSINGFORS, March 11, 1919, 6 p.m.
[Received March 12, 12.40 p.m.]
196. Not quite all votes counted but the results will be approxi-
mately as indicated in my number 194 2 as follows: Swedish 116452,
Coalition 145338, Progressive 128162, Socialist 394645, Agrarian
169075, scattering 5669, total 959341. The foregoing gives Diet mem-
bership Swedish 22, Coalition 28, Progressive 26, Agrarian 42, Social-
ist 82. Despite the size of the Socialist vote it still fails to show all
the strength of that element in Finland because,
1. Their political machinery was disorganized.
2. The civil war deprived thousands of suffrage.
3. Very few Socialist newspapers allowed.
4. Confiscation of propaganda.
5. Election meetings prevented and threats against distributors
of labor literature.
6. Hundreds of the laboring poor afraid to go to the polls.
On April 1 will assemble the new Diet where the Socialists will
demand,
1. Disarmament of White Guards. These are apart from the
regular army and consist of armed bodies organized to
preserve order and to hold Reds in check.
2. Full amnesty and restored suffrage to all Reds.
3. Eight hour working day.
4. A less stringent military law.
The first of the foregoing is pregnant with danger because if the
Agrarians should support the Socialists in making it illegal for one
class to be armed against another, it is absolutely certain that the
Bourgeois will refuse to disarm the White Guards and thus, due to
the eternally uncompromising character of the Finn strengthened
by the striving of the old principle of power against the new princi-
2Not printed.
212


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