Alfred Milner, the Secret Elite leader, member of the inner War Cabinet, and leader of the mission to Russia in 1917.

In a sense it was Gallipoli all over again. Hold the Russians fast to the war without allowing them to gain anything from their mammoth contribution. Until the United States entered the war and her troops were on the ground in Europe, Russian troops were valuable, but Russia could not be allowed to share the spoils when the ultimate victory had been secured. It was absolutely essential that the Czar be prevented from mounting a successful offensive in 1917. An Allied conference in St Petersburg was hastily arranged, theoretically to discuss the proposed offensive, reach an agreement to supply vital armaments and boost local morale. Step forward Alfred Milner, undisputed master of the Secret Elite, to lead the British delegation. According to Cabinet papers, Milner was ‘authorised to give assurances on supplies to Russia if in his estimation the Russians could make good use of them’. [1] What power. Armament supplies to Russia were crucial to the proposed offensive, yet Milner was given personal authority to decide whether or not Britain would supply them. In his hands alone lay the power to determine whether the war would end in the summer/autumn of 1917 or continue beyond. If artillery was not provided, Russia’s summer offensive and consequent victory was a lost cause and the Czar’s fate sealed.

Bruce Lockhart, British Embassy Moscow

Alfred Milner and the British delegation sailed from Oban in Scotland on January 20, 1917. According to Bruce Lockhart, British Consul in Moscow, ‘Rarely in the history of great wars can so many important ministers and generals have left their respective countries on so useless an errand’. The British Mission was the largest with Lord Milner, his political advisers Lord Revelstoke (a banker) and George Clerk, together with his military advisers Sir Henry Wilson and five other generals. [2] The French sent one politician and two generals, the Italians a politician and a general. Why was there such a ridiculously heavy presence of generals in the British delegation? The role of General Sir Henry Wilson, who was closely linked to the secret cabal, was to give military approval to the final decision. Wilson hung on Milner’s every word and would never have contradicted him. In turn, few if any British generals would have dared contradict General Wilson. They had discussions with senior members of the Russian armed forces, but the Generals were said to be decidedly under-impressed. It was, apparently, ‘a useless errand’ just as the British consul had said, but in reality the real mission to block any Russian chance of gaining Constantinople worked perfectly.

Milner undertook the long, dangerous journey (Lord Kitchener had been killed on a similar voyage from Scotland to Russia in 1916) despite being advised not to go by a fellow member of the Secret Elite, Lord Esher. [3] On the day he arrived in Petrograd, and before he had even met or discussed the armaments proposal with the Russians, Milner made no attempt to conceal his doubt. From the very start he used ‘the inefficiency of the Russians’ as an excuse to turn down their request for artillery.[4] He held several meetings with the Czar, and held nothing back. Lord Milner warned Nicholas II that if Britain was to hand over her vital heavy guns, it was necessary for Russia to prove that her own supplies were exhausted and be absolutely assured that Russia could defeat Germany in the proposed military operations. Milner added bluntly that it had come to his notice from many independent, ‘well-informed sources’ that Russia had failed to fully exploit her manpower and her own vast resources.

Milner promised Nicholas II nothing. On 3 March 1917, he arrived back in London and informed the government of his decision: No guns for Russia. Three days later his formal report to the War Cabinet about the events that took place at the Allied Conference in Russia was dismissive. He felt that too many unnecessary people had attended, ironic, considering the size of the party which accompanied him, and too many personal and distracting agendas had been aired. In-fighting amongst the Russian military leaders was seriously debilitating. Milner claimed to have been shocked by the lack of training in modern weaponry which Russian soldiers had been given. Organisation, he deemed, ’chaotic’. He stated that the Russian government under the Czar was ‘hopeless’ and improvement unlikely, but in his view there was ‘a great deal of exaggeration about the talk of revolution’.[5] He specifically denied that an impending revolution was likely. Such an astonishing assertion requires further examination. Why, if the armed forces were in chaos, did he think that a revolution was unlikely?

THE IMPERIAL WAR CABINET, 1 MAY 1917. (HU 81394) Group photograph of the Imperial War Cabinet members taken in the garden of No. 10 Downing Street. Front row (left to right Henderson (Minister without portfolio), Lord Milner (Minister without portfolio), Lord Curzon (Lord President of the Council), A Bonar Law (Chancellor of the Exchequer), David Lloyd George (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Sir Robert Borden (Prime Minister of Canada), W F Massey (Prime Minister of New Zealand ) and General Jan Smutts, South Africa.

Milner made a verbal report to a War Cabinet which included the prime ministers of Canada and New Zealand. All the Secret Elite political agents were present. No minute was taken [6] ( a very unusual but convenient occurrence ) and whatever was said, we will never know. His written memorandum for Cabinet (dated 13 March) that there would be no revolution, was signed 5 days after the uprising started. To imagine that the foreign office did not know this, or even that Milner could not have altered the wording of his report, is ridiculous. It was a calculated comment; one meant to deflect attention from his unreported discussions with other parties. Lord Alfred Milner knew exactly what was about to happen in Petrograd at that precise moment in time because the Secret Elite was instrumental in facilitating it.

Bruce Lockhart, the British Consul in Moscow, was shocked when told of Lord Milner’s conclusion that there would be no revolution. He suspected that the foreign office had prepared a false report, insisting that there was nothing in Milner’s attitude or discussions during his visit to indicate that he had any confidence in the Czar. [7] Nothing. Milner’s report had been concocted in conjunction with the foreign office to delude his contemporaries, and doubtless later historical researchers. In his War Memoirs, Prime Minister Lloyd George bemoaned the fact Milner and his entourage had not apparently grasped the immediate seriousness of the situation: ‘Having regard to the warnings which were blaring at them in every direction, it is incomprehensible that they should have been so deaf and blind.’ [8] Milner was neither blind nor deaf. As ever, he lived with the criticism which covered his actual purpose. He had always disregarded the screamers.

Prince George Lvov

During his sojourn, Alfred Milner held a meeting with prince Lvov, a member of the Duma, at which the possibility of revolution ‘within three weeks’ was specifically discussed. [9] Lloyd George spouted what appeared to be criticism of Milner, but it was part and parcel of the ploy to conceal historical truth. Lloyd George was a political puppet of the Secret Elite, party to its agenda and a willing player. He had sold his soul to the international bankers for power and material riches many years before. [10] Almost three weeks to the day after Milner’s private discussions with Prince Lyoy, the so-called ‘spontaneous revolution’ took place in Petrograd. Czar Nicholas subsequently abdicated, and Lvov was installed as prime minister. Yet Milner apparently knew nothing?

Untangling the Secret Elite’s web of intrigue during the Russian mission is no simple matter. But be certain of one thing. Alfred Milner was not a man to waste his time, let alone risk U-Boat infested seas to journey to Russia in the depth of winter, unless it was a matter of the gravest importance. It was no coincidence that he was in Petrograd less than three weeks before the revolution exploded. He saw what was happening and he knew what was about to happen. The question of supplying Russia with artillery was most definitely not the reason for the visit. His presence at what was termed an Allied Conference was the perfect cover, for Milner had far more important business. Crucially, at that very time, Secret Elite agents were supplying monetary bribes to workers’ leaders at the giant Putilov factory and to soldiers of the local garrisons. The ground-work for imminent revolution was in motion while Milner was in Petrograd.

We know that he had private talks with the Czar, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Milner warned Nicholas II that British Intelligence had sound evidence that serious disorder was about to erupt in the capital; disorder which would present an immense threat to the Czar’s personal safety and that of his beloved children. The key objective of this Secret Elite exercise was to manipulate their own agents into power in Russia. Nicholas had served his purpose. Did Milner urge Nicholas to consider abdication with promises that he and his family would find a safe refuge in Britain? The speed with which the Czar abdicated and his lack of fight surprised many.

Milner’s involvement is not some far-fetched theory. He was accused in Parliament of making speeches in Russia which went unreported in Britain because of press censorship. The Irish Nationalist leader, John Dillon berated Milner for apparently supporting the Czar’s regime and spouting nonsense in Moscow denying the state of popular agitation in Russia.[11] When he returned to London, Milner was reported in The Times as saying that ‘it was quite wrong to suppose that there is in Russia any controversy about the waging of the war.’ [12] It was of course, nonsense, but such claims served to deflect attention from what was actually happening.

Having abdicated, a very disconsolate Car was held under guard.

Two days later, the revolution began. In reply to questions in Parliament on 3 April 1917, Andrew Bonar Law, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and an associate of the secret cabal, stated: ‘I have seen statements emanating from our enemies that it was owing to Lord Milner that the Czar was overthrown.’ [13] What? Milner clearly made unreported speeches and met unreported persons. But what more did the Germans know? Where is the proof that Milner caused the overthrow of the Czar? Yet again we reach an impasse on Milner’s activities. Reports and records were afterwards removed, correspondence burned on his orders and any evidence of his detailed machinations destroyed. Whatever else, Alfred Milner was no innocent aboard. He knew what was going on because, like his Rothschild / Secret Elite friends, he had his finger on the pulse before the heart could beat.

If the received history of the First World War was true, why would he turn down the chance to offer Russia materiel support for its massive summer offensive; an offensive that would most likely have shattered the enemy forces on the Eastern Front and brought the war to successful conclusion? Why turn down lucrative bank loans to Russia for weapons, and the substantial profits for British armaments companies which manufactured those weapons? The answer was, as always, Constantinople. The Russians could never be allowed to take possession of Constantinople.

While the Czarist authorities there were doing their utmost to dampen the revolutionary flames, the Secret Elite were fanning them. In an article in the New York Times, the explorer, journalist and Russian expert, George Kennan, revealed that in early 1917 Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb Bank on Wall Street financed Russian revolutionaries through an organisation, the Society of the Friends of Russian Freedom. [14]  Indeed, Schiff had financed Russian revolutionaries from at least 1905.

George Buchanan, British ambassador to Russia.

The Czar had conferred with George Buchanan, British Ambassador in Petrograd, informing him that if the planned offensive could not proceed through lack of artillery supplies from Britain, he intended to sue for peace with Germany. Nicholas II had no inkling of the extent to which Britain was determined to prevent any dialogue between Russia and Germany. The British Ambassador in Russia himself was at the centre of a scheme to overthrow the Czar if he lost his stomach for war. To that end he had gathered ‘a coterie of wealthy bankers, liberal capitalists, conservative politicians, and disgruntled aristocrats.’ [15]

Empty threat or not, the Czar had discussed signing a peace treaty with Germany, and it was patently clear to the Secret Elite that he would have to go. During and immediately after Milner’s mission to Russia, many local observers, visitors and newsmen reported that British and American agents were everywhere, especially in Petrograd, providing money for insurrection. British agents were seen handing over 25-rouble notes to soldiers in the Pavloski regiment just a few hours before they mutinied against their officers and sided with the revolutionaries. [16] Subsequent publication of various memoirs and documents made it clear that this funding was provided by Milner and channelled through Sir George Buchanan. It was a repeat of the ploy that had worked so well for the cabal many times in the past. Round Table members [17] were once again operating on both sides of the conflict to weaken and topple a target-government. Czar Nicholas had every reason to believe that, since the British were Russia’s trusted allies, their officials would be the last on earth to conspire against him. Yet, the British Ambassador himself represented the hidden cabal which was financing the regime’s downfall. [18]

1. National Archives CAB 23/1 War Cabinet 37, 18 January 1917. P.3.

2. R H Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent, p. 162.

3. J Lee Thompson, Forgotten Patriot, p. 335.

4. R H Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent, p. 163.

5. CAB/ 24/3/36 Lord Milner’s Memorandum of 13 March, 1917 (G – 131).

6. CAB 23/2 War Cabinet 88.

7. R H Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent, pp. 168-169.

8. Lloyd George, War Memoirs vol 1., p. 943.

9. R H Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent, pp. 164.

10. Docherty and Macgregor, Hidden History, pp. 161-163.

11. House of Commons Debate 27 March 1917 vol 92 cc295-318.

12. The Times, 6 March 1917, p. 6.

13. House of Commons Debate 03 April 1917 vol 92 c1120.

14 New York Times, March 24, 1917.

15. Preparata, Conjuring Hitler, pp 28-29.

16. G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island, p. 274.

17. The Round Table was an influential think-tank pressure group which was built around Alfred Milner and his acolytes. Its prime aim was to spread his ideas of expanding the Empire to encompass the entire world.

18. G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island, p. 274.