861.404/91a: Telegram

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

27. Public opinion is aroused in this country by the report of the death sentence passed on Archbishop Zepliak and other Roman Catholic ecclesiastics in Russia, and there are many appeals for intercession on their behalf. It is fitting that the humanitarian sentiment of the American people should find expression and it is thought that the advisable course is to have you communicate informally on the subject with the Soviet representative in Berlin. You may say that the public mind in this country has been much stirred by reports of the sentence passed and that execution of the sentence against these ecclesiastics cannot fail to have a most unfortunate effect. You may say that it would seem to be only the part of friendliness to let him know the extent and intensity of the feeling which has been aroused and to express the earnest hope in the interest of humanity that the lives of these ecclesiastics may be spared. The Department must leave it to you to determine the form and manner of communication taking account of the absence of recognition and official intercourse, and you of course will avoid a formal official representation.