123 Bullitt, William C./293

Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State

When at my request the Ambassador called yesterday, I handed him a note36 containing information he desired with reference to payment of tariff duties on rugs.

I then read him the first page of a letter written me by Ambassador Bullitt 37 denying the correctness of a report, which Troyanovsky had heretofore brought to my attention, that Mr. Bullitt has recently made disparaging remarks about Stalin and food conditions in Russia.38 I added that we know that a systematic effort is being made to discredit Mr. Bullitt by throwing on him all responsibility for the failure of establishing closer relations between our Government and the Soviet Government and in that connection I referred to the conversation between Henderson and Krestinsky. I said that should the campaign against Mr. Bullitt continue, I might be forced to make a public statement of the truth. Troyanovsky thought that might call for a counter statement. I believe that the Soviet authorities will now quiet down and that no action by us will be necessary. I reminded Troyanovsky that any trouble in Moscow was caused by the breach of the agreements made here by Litvinov at the time recognition was accorded his government.39 Further, in order to illustrate the entire lack of cooperation with us by the Soviet authorities, I gave the reasons why we were obliged to abandon the plan of constructing buildings in Moscow.40

I again referred to the arrest of the Russian Translator41 at our Embassy last September and the refusal of the authorities to tell his American wife where he is or even whether he is still alive. I told Troyanovsky that that case is not discussed in the way of making representations or protest in behalf of a Russian citizen but as a case which is being dealt with as it would not be dealt with in any other civilized country. I expressed my astonishment that the practice pursued [Page 320] in that and similar cases is continued in effect at the very time that the world is being informed that the Soviet is about to adopt a constitution that as written is perhaps the most democratic ever heard of. He talked vaguely about this thing and really had nothing to offer that could be taken seriously as a defense.

R. W[alton] M[oore]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not found in Department files.
  3. The Soviet Ambassador called attention to these reported remarks by Bullitt, now the American Ambassador in France, in a conversation with Acting Secretary Moore on November 6, 1936. (123 Bullitt, William C./292)
  4. See pp. 1 ff.
  5. See pp. 268 ff.
  6. Valentine Sergey Malitsky.