124.613/843: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Davies ) to the Secretary of State

283. In the case of the translator Svyadoshch,54a Litvinov stated that he wished to assure my Government that in this arrest there was no reflection upon the American Mission in any respect; that the action was predicated entirely upon the conduct of the accused in connection with facts outside of his work at the Embassy.

In connection with the Hrinkevich case he stated that he would take the matter up at once and hope that it could be disposed of speedily. He stated also that in his opinion there would be no doubt but what we would have an opportunity to confer with the accused.

In connection with both of these cases he stated that he wished to assure my Government that the disposition of the Soviet Government would certainly be to extend most favorable consideration to the U. S. He went on to say that his Government conceived that it was surrounded by enemies and had no friends among other nations and that in the face of this threat it had become necessary for it to drastically clean up all possible treasonable or spying activities at home and that in such a thorough and broad campaign there was the possibility of injustice and that some innocent people might suffer, which fact it regretted, but which could not be permitted to deter its action. He regretted that his absence would prevent his taking up these two matters personally, but that he would discuss it with the deputy in charge and instruct him to take the matter up with me promptly.

  1. Abraham L. Svyadoshch, a Soviet employee of the Embassy, had been arrested on October 27, 1937.