861.50 Am 3/—b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Houghton)


102. The advisability of attempting to arrange with the Soviet authorities for the sending into Soviet Russia of an American commission of technical experts to study and report to the American Government regarding economic conditions there is receiving consideration. [Page 827] Such a visit would provide trustworthy information for American business men. Because of the danger that such a proposal will create in Europe the impression that the United States is starting a scramble for concessions, it is important to learn in advance whether or not the Soviet authorities intend to allow an international commission of this nature to enter Soviet Russia. Before proposing to send an American commission, we should have exact information that an international commission of experts would not be received. If an international body would not be welcome, in view of the practical failure of the negotiations at Genoa and The Hague, it would seem that the opportunity is ours to determine what can be done in a business way to improve economic conditions in Russia.

I wish you to take an early opportunity to discuss the matter with Krassin48 privately and informally. First try to make sure that the Soviet authorities will not admit an international commission and then suggest that possibly the American Government might consider sending such a commission as described above if the necessary facilities were offered. The commission would consist of real experts representing agricultural, industrial, transportation and other activities. They would be men whose thoroughness and impartial judgment could be relied upon.

  1. Leonid Borisovich Krassin, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Trade.