361.1115 Robinson, Donald L./65: Telegram

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

10. 1. The Embassy has continued to make oral inquiries daily of officials of the Foreign Office regarding Mrs. Rubens and these officials have uniformly replied that they have not yet received information regarding her from the competent Soviet authorities. Another such reply was received this morning.

2. On January 15 I told Weinberg that I was sure that the delay of the Soviet authorities in replying to the Embassy’s note of January 6 was making a distinctly bad impression in the United States. He said that he still could not understand why the American Government was attaching so much importance to a woman who had come into the Soviet Union on a fraudulently obtained passport. I replied that the case was important not merely because it involved the fate of a person believed to be an American citizen but because it provided an opportunity to the Soviet authorities to demonstrate whether or not they were prepared to accord that degree of cooperation to the American institutions charged with the protection of American citizens abroad as those institutions are accustomed to receive from authorities of other countries. I said that he must know that there was a feeling among certain influential groups in the United States that it was useless for American institutions to endeavor to obtain cooperation from Soviet authorities and expressed the hope that the Soviet Government would not take an attitude in the Rubens case which would strengthen that feeling. I added that after all the request of the American Government for information regarding Mrs. Rubens’ whereabouts and, in the event that she has been arrested, regarding the charges lodged against her is most reasonable and certainly deserves a prompt reply.

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3. Mr. Weinberg said that this case appeared to be unusually complicated and that the American Government should not become impatient merely because it did not receive a prompt reply to its inquiry. He added that he would again take the matter up with the competent Soviet authorities.