Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The Soviet Ambassador44 called and after talking with me on another subject, said that he would come in again next week to discuss trade matters between our two countries. I expressed my satisfaction at the prospect of his doing so.

He made some little remark about relations between our embassies. 1 said I had nothing special in mind, except that it would save us no little amount of time, and, I thought, would put his Government in a much more favorable attitude towards this country, at least, if all questions and other matters coming up between our two governments could be conducted openly and promptly, instead of having people in this country told that the system in the Soviet Union was mysterious in many important respects; that, as in the so-called Rubens case,45 the Soviet officials assume an air of complete mystery for months and even longer and keep State Department officials engrossed and harassed through lack of disposition to give us simple, legitimate information from time to time. He did not attempt to defend or palliate this system.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Mr. Umansky was the Soviet Ambassador from June 6, 1939.
  2. For the arrest and detention of American citizens by Soviet authorities, and developments in the Rubens case, see pp. 904 ff.