611.6131/562: Telegram

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

421. My telegram No. 419, August 2. The notes, all dated today, renewing the commercial agreement for another year were exchanged this afternoon at 3 o’clock, the only changes in the three Russian texts, other than dates, being the omission from the note giving the minimum Soviet guarantee purchases and from the letter limiting the exports of Soviet coal to the United States, of the phrase “according to information received by me from the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade”.

It was agreed tentatively that the approval of the new agreement would be given by the Council of People’s Commissars on August 4, simultaneously with its proclamation by the President, and the Embassy will be informed shortly as to whether this date is definitive. I shall inform the Department promptly upon receipt of such information.29 It was further stated that no publicity will be given by the Soviet Government to the renewal of the agreement before August 5 at approximately 2 p.m., Moscow time. Upon receipt of the Department’s reply to my 419, August 2nd, paragraph number 1, last sentence, as to a possible substitution for the sentence giving the value of Soviet orders placed in the United States, I shall release to the American [Page 833]journalists here on Friday night for appearance in Saturday’s morning papers, the data authorized by the Department.


[For text of the agreement effected by exchange of notes signed August 2, 1939, and effective August 6, 1939, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 151, or 53 Stat. 2404. For text of press release issued by the Department August 5, 1939, see Department of State, Bulletin, August 5, 1939, page 96.]

  1. This information was confirmed in Embassy’s telegram No. 425, August 3, 1939, 5 p.m. (611.6131/564).