361.1115 Robinson, Donald L./72: Telegram

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

18. Your no. 14, January 17, 10 p.m.34

Please inform the Soviet authorities that your Government has instructed you to request that a member of the staff of the Embassy be permitted to interview Mrs. Rubens without delay. The Department today informed the Soviet Embassy that you were being instructed in this sense, adding that it was hoped the Embassy would communicate this information to the Soviet Government and that it would at the same time point out the very bad impression that would be produced in the United States should permission for a representative of this Government to visit an American citizen who had been taken into custody be delayed.
In the interview with Mrs. Rubens every effort should be made to ascertain the names under which she and her husband have traveled subsequent to their departure from the United States last autumn, the names in which were issued the passports which they presented when they entered the Soviet Union, the circumstances under which these passports were obtained, the reason for the concealment by Mr. and Mrs. Rubens of their identity, and the nature of their activities. Please endeavor to ascertain whether Mrs. Rubens has been well treated during her detention, and report on her physical condition as reflected in her appearance.
With reference to paragraph (e) of your telegram, please report what constitutes illegal entry into the Soviet Union and what the basis is for Weinberg’s statement that Mrs. Rubens entered the Soviet Union illegally. What is the penalty under Soviet law for illegal entry?
It does not appear from your telegram no. 10, January 17, 4 p.m., that you pointed out to Weinberg that Mrs. Rubens on April 3, 1936, was granted an American passport to which she was entitled. Have you any evidence that she entered the Soviet Union on a passport to which she was not entitled?
Any comment you may care to make on the Rubens case, and in particular on the statements made to you by Weinberg, would be welcomed.
  1. Not printed.