311.6121 Gorin, M. N./31

The Secretary of State to the Chargé of the Soviet Union (Umansky)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and informs the Chargé d’Affaires that a copy of the memorandum relating to the recent trial of Mr. Michael Gorin and Mrs. Natasha Gorin in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California, [Page 926] which, was presented by the Chargé d’Affaires to Mr. Moffat on March 18, 1939, has been transmitted to the Attorney General of the United States for consideration.

[After consideration, the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs, Loy W. Henderson, recommended in a memorandum dated April 13, 1939, that the reply received from the Department of Justice in its letter of April 6, 1939, should be filed because it “would not result in any assuagement of injured Soviet feelings,” nor should any further communication be sent “unless the Soviet Embassy reopens the matter.” The Adviser on Political Affairs, James C. Dunn, concurred in this disposition. (311.6121 Gorin, M. N./35)

On March 20, 1939, Gorin was sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment and to pay a fine of $10,000; Salich was sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment and also fined $10,000. The Federal Court of Appeals upheld the conviction (April 22, 1940), and the United States Supreme Court held a hearing on the case (December 20, 1940). The Supreme Court on January 13, 1941, upheld the conviction for the theft and sale to the Soviet Union of naval data on Japanese activities in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. (311.6121 Gorin, M. N./38, 42½; Gorin vs. United States, 312 U. S. 19.) A few days afterward the Soviet Ambassador came to the Department of State with a proposition looking toward the release of Gorin, upon which further negotiations ensued.]