861.50 Am 3/7: Telegram

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


173. Department’s No. 102 of July 24, 4 p.m., and my No. 150 of August 1, 5 p.m. This morning I received the following letter which was marked “personal”:51

Berlin, August 28, 1922.

Sir: I am instructed to declare that the Russian Government is quite willing to allow any American business men or groups of business men, on the same footing as those of other countries which are in permanent relations with Russia, to enter Russia for the purpose of conducting negotiations relative to concessions, trade and other economic questions. As for the admission into Russia of an American committee of experts or of inquiry, which would obviously be a step of greater bearing, involving much more difficult issues, the Russian Government would consent thereto if a certain reciprocity was admitted; namely, if Russian commercial delegates were allowed to visit the United States of America in order to study the American market and trade conditions.

In a general way I am instructed to declare that the Russian Government would welcome with joy the beginning of trade negotiations with the American Government and would be glad for that purpose both to be able to send a Russian trade committee to America, or else to invite an American committee to come to Moscow.

I remain, Sir, yours most respectfully,

(signed) George Tchicherine

I request telegraphic instructions if you desire to have me discuss the matter further with Chicherin. It is reported that Krassin will [Page 831] be here tomorrow morning. I suspect that there will be no particular difficulty in obtaining permission for an expert commission such as suggested in your telegram under reference to enter Russia, with certain restrictions, without our giving reciprocal permission. I am reluctant to proceed further, in view of my 140 [148], July 28, 5 p.m., unless I receive definite instructions.

  1. The text of the letter is not paraphrased.