361.1115 Robinson, Donald L./84: Telegram

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

20. Your no. 25, January 21, 8 p.m.

Please address a note to Litvinov in which, after reciting the interpretation of his letter of November 16, 1933, which was communicated to you by Vinogradov, you should state substantially the following:
I am instructed by my Government to bring to your attention your letter of November 16, 1933 to the President in which you stated that nationals of the United States would be granted rights with reference to legal protection which would not be less favorable than those enjoyed in the Soviet Union by nationals of the nation the most-favored in this respect. In this connection you called the President’s attention to the text of certain articles of the Agreement Concerning Conditions of Residence and Business and Legal Protection in General which was concluded on October 12, 1925 between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany. Paragraph 2 of the final protocol to Article 11 of this agreement reads in part as follows:

“In places of detention of all kinds, requests made by consular representatives to visit nationals of their country under arrest, or to have them visited by their representatives, shall be granted without delay.”

The Government of the United States is unable to accept any interpretation of this paragraph which would operate to restrict in any way whatsoever the granting without delay of requests made by its representatives to visit American nationals under arrest, or to have such American nationals visited by representatives of American consular or diplomatic officers.
I am instructed to add that my Government continues to expect that an officer of the Embassy will be permitted without delay to interview the person whom the Soviet authorities refer to as Mrs. Robinson.
You are authorized in your discretion to decline to discuss the matter further with anyone in the Soviet Foreign Office lower in rank than the Chief or Acting Chief of the Third Western Division. Should the matter be brought up again by any of the higher officials of the Foreign Office you may restate the views expressed in the note outlined above and stress the profoundly unfavorable impression which the Soviet attitude in this matter has made on the American public.

Arrangements for the visit we are requesting are necessary in order to ascertain all the facts which can be obtained from Mrs. Rubens in this matter with a view to assisting us in arriving at a determination of what the duties of this Government would be with regard to her case.