The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt)
131. Your 481, August 28, 5 p.m.
1. The Soviet Chargé d’Affaires presented yesterday to the Department a request similar to that contained in your 474 of August 26, 1 p.m. This request was favorably received, but upon the receipt of your telegram under reference the Embassy has since been informed that no action has as yet been taken with regard to its request and that the Department will inform it when such action is taken. The Department will take no action regarding the Kim until it hears from you. It is assumed that you have already informed the Foreign Office that no action on its request will be taken until proper treatment is accorded Nelson. From such information as is available from the Panama Canal Office here it appears that in the absence of instructions, the Canal authorities will probably permit the Kim, even though it has no bill of health, to pass through the Canal without any great inconvenience.
2. If the Soviet authorities adhere to their demands on Nelson, another approach is suggested.
The Soviet Chargé d’Affaires also requested yesterday that steps be taken to facilitate the customs and immigration inspection of the Red Army troupe arriving in New York in September. Please telegraph whether you desire the Department to inform the Embassy that if the Soviet customs authorities refuse to inspect Nelson’s effects at his residence or if they cause him unnecessary inconvenience the Department will not be in a position to request that steps be taken to facilitate the entry of the troupe.
3. You may use your own judgment pending the decision of the Soviet customs authorities with regard to the treatment of Nelson as to the extent to which other work in the Embassy should be sacrificed [Page 847]in order to extend special courtesies to those persons the visas of whom were authorized in the Department’s telegram no. 119 of August 11, 5 p.m.