361.1115 Robinson, Donald L./17: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

326. Your 198, December 12, 2 p.m.61

I saw Litvinov this afternoon and told him that although it appeared from investigations that Mr. and Mrs. Robinson had obtained American passports with the use of false documents, nevertheless, the American Government in view of all the facts continues to desire the cooperation of the Soviet Government in ascertaining the whereabouts of the missing couple and in clearing up the case. I then made a statement along the lines indicated in section 6 of my telegram 320, December 11, 6 p.m.
Litvinov said that he failed to understand our interest in the case now that it seemed that the passports had been obtained fraudulently; that apparently we did not even know that the couple were American citizens and that it appeared as though they had not requested our protection and that Mrs. Robinson had left the hotel in order to avoid making further contact with the Embassy.
I replied that we would continue to be interested in the case at least until we received satisfactory evidence that the couple were not American citizens, that in certain circumstances the American Government was accustomed to taking steps to protect American citizens who might be in need of assistance without being called upon by them to do so and that we had no information as yet which would indicate that Mrs. Robinson had left the hotel voluntarily in order to avoid making contacts with the Embassy.
In reply to my inquiries Mr. Litvinov said that he was not in a position categorically to state that the couple were not American citizens although he doubted that they were and felt that there was even a possibility that they were German spies; that he could not as yet definitely say that Mrs. Robinson left the hotel voluntarily; and that he could not as yet make any statement regarding the identity or whereabouts of the missing persons. He said that he would look into the matter personally and hoped to be able to make some statement.
  1. Not printed.