Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Henderson)

Mr. Oumansky stated that last June Mr. Troyanovsky had informed Mr. Messersmith orally that the Soviet Government since 1934 had reserved a site on the bank of the Moscow River to be used by the [Page 839]American Government in the construction of an Embassy.34 Mr. Troyanovsky had added that since a number of Soviet organizations had applied for the use of the site, the Soviet Government would appreciate being informed whether the American Government intended eventually to make use of the site. Mr. Messersmith was also informed that the Soviet Government would continue to reserve the site for the use of the American Government until June 1939 unless in the interim the American Government would indicate that it did not intend to make use of it.

Mr. Oumansky said that he had received a communication from his Government requesting him again to inquire whether or not the American Government intended to make use of the property in question. He said that it would be appreciated if an answer could be made in the near future since if the answer would be in the negative the property would immediately be allotted for other purposes.

I obtained the impression from Mr. Oumansky that the Soviet Government at the present time seemed rather anxious that the American Government should again take up the question of building an Embassy in Moscow. He said that in his opinion the American Government would not find so many difficult problems to face if it decided to build as it met in 1934.

I told him that I would refer the matter to the appropriate officials of the Department and hoped to give him a reply in the not distant future.

  1. There is no record found in Department files of a conversation on this subject in June 1938. For the conversation of December 29, 1937, see memorandum of December 30, 1937, by Assistant Secretary of State Messersmith. p. 453.