511.1 C 1/1

The Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, Department of State ( Poole ) to the Russian Financial Attaché ( Ughet )

My Dear Mr. Ughet: I am sorry that an answer to your letter of September 22, 1922, concerning the certificates of identity proposed to be issued to Russian refugees has been so long delayed. I postponed an answer in the thought that the question might be presented to the Department in some practical way. So far, however, the matter has not been brought before us except through your letter.

While the action of the Department cannot be anticipated with respect to such concrete cases as may arise, I believe that I am justified in saying to you that there is nothing in the situation to cause apprehension on behalf of the Russian refugees. I do not see how they can be placed in a worse situation with respect to travel and visas as a result of new provisions made in other countries on the suggestion of the League. There have been many cases since the war of persons holding no passports or the passports of non-recognized governments. To care for this the Department has provided a form (No. 228) which is in effect a declaration by the applicant for a visa as to the facts of his identity and nationality. If a regular passport is lacking, the visa, when granted, is affixed to this form.

I think that it is clear that under this procedure Russian refugees will not suffer any new or undue hardship in the matter of obtaining visas. Any document which they may have in the nature of certificates of identity of the kind proposed by the League of Nations will, presumably, only improve their situation by providing additional, though not necessarily conclusive, evidence of their identity and nationality.

I am [etc.]

D. C. Poole