361.1115 Kujala, Arthur J./17

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

No. 2259a

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 512 of February 14, 1939 (File No. 361.1115 Kujala, Arthur J./12 [13]),30 regarding the arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Arthur John Kujala, an American citizen.

No information concerning Mr. Kujala, other than that set forth in the Embassy’s despatch No. 2158 of March 8, 1939,30 was received until April 11 when a member of the Embassy staff was informed orally by Mr. Vinogradov of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs that Mr. Kujala is in perfect health and that it is probable his case will be reviewed by the Soviet authorities with a view to suspending the unfinished portion of his prison sentence and deporting him from the Soviet Union. When Mr. Vinogradov was questioned as to Mr. Kujala’s whereabouts and the date on which a representative of the Embassy may visit him, he stated, “I have no information on those points.”

In view of the delay on the part of the Soviet authorities in granting permission for a representative of the Embassy to visit Mr. Kujala, in spite of the assurances given in 1933 by the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs in regard to the legal protection of American nationals in the Soviet Union, I had decided to approach Mr. Litvinov himself with reference to the case of Mr. Kujala as well as with reference to pending matters relating to the case of Mrs. Ruth Marie Rubens (see my despatch no. 2163, March 6 [9], 1939) and I took occasion to mention that intention to Mr. Litvinov when I met him at a diplomatic [Page 908] reception on April 13th. The Commissar stated, however, that I would save time by consulting with Mr. Potemkin, the Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, under whose direction such matters fell. Accordingly, I handed to Mr. Potemkin yesterday a note verbale directing the Commissariat’s attention to the Embassy’s note no. 1102 of November 14, 1938,* and urging that arrangements be made at the earliest possible moment to enable a member of the Embassy staff to visit Mr. Kujala without further delay.

Respectfully yours,

A. Kirk
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. See last paragraph on page 2 of Embassy’s despatch no. 2153, of March 8. 1939. [Footnote in the original; despatch not printed.]