List of Papers

(Unless otherwise specified, the correspondence is from or to officials in the Department of State.)

1933

Recognition by the United States of the Soviet Union, November 16, 1933

Date and number Subject Page
1932 Sept. 8 To Senator William E. Borah
Opinion as to the effect of U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union on the Far Eastern situation.
1
1933 Feb. 23 (1) From the Military Attaché in Japan to the Assistant Chief of Staff
Report of conversation with Soviet Military Attaché, who expressed opinion that it would be to the interest of the United States and the Soviet Union to reach a friendly understanding.
3
Mar. 3 To Mr. Fred L. Eberhardt
Comments concerning trade relations with the Soviet Union; opinion that U.S. recognition would not materially alter the credit standing of the Soviet Union.
3
[July 27] Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Discussion of problems pertaining to Russian-American relations which should be settled prior to recognition of the Soviet Government, including Communist world revolutionary activities, repudiated debts and confiscated property, economic and social differences.
6
Aug. 31 From the Assistant Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs to the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
Transmittal of copy of memorandum of July 27 (supra).
11
Sept. 21 To President Roosevelt
Observation, in connection with the question of the extension of loans by U.S. Government agencies to the Soviet Union to facilitate purchases in the United States, that any such loans should be made only as part of a general settlement with the Soviet Union.
12
Sept. 25 From the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs to the Under Secretary of State
Recommendation, in connection with the President’s proposed message to the head of the Soviet State, that it be made clear that the conclusion of any definite agreement for Government financial assistance in facilitating American exports to Russia is dependent upon a general settlement of existing difficulties.
14
Oct. 5 To President Roosevelt
Transmittal of two memoranda, October 4 (texts printed) by Judge Walton Moore, Assistant Secretary of State, and William Bullitt, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, containing observations in connection with the development of plans for the recognition of the Soviet Union.
14
[Page XXII]Oct. 10 From President Roosevelt to the President of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee
Proposal for the opening of exploratory discussions concerning questions outstanding between the United States and the Soviet Union with a view to ending the present abnormal relations between the two countries.
17
Oct. 17 From the President of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee to President Roosevelt
Acceptance of proposal for exploratory discussions with the United States, and designation of M. M. Litvinov as the Soviet representative.
18
Oct. 20 (99) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information concerning arrangements for exploratory discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union; explanation that this action does not, however, constitute recognition.
19
Oct. 21 From the Russian Financial Attaché
Request for discontinuance of present status and the temporary transfer to the Department of State of matters requiring further attention.
19
Oct. 23 (163) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Opinion of Foreign Minister quoted in press interview (text printed) and other comment indicating that the Japanese do not feel that the proposed U.S.-Soviet conversations are directed against Japan.
20
Oct. 24 (166) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Comment that any publicity in connection with the proposed U.S.-Soviet discussions giving grounds for suspicion of U.S. support of the Soviet Union in the Far East would lead to renewed outbursts on the part of the military faction in Japan.
20
Oct. 24 (41) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Account of Soviet newspaper comments which attempt to interpret the peace element in President Roosevelt’s message as an offer of support against Japan.
21
Oct. 24 (312) To the Chargé in France (tel.)
Instructions for issuance of visas to Litvinov and members of his party.
22
Oct. 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Recommendations and considerations in connection with question of Russian governmental indebtedness to the U. S. Government; recommendation that two items representing obligations of the Kolchak government, which was never recognized by the United States, be not presented for payment.
23
Oct. 28 From the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs to the Secretary of State
Importance of reassuring the Japanese, who are fearful that the conversations between President Roosevelt and Litvinov will relate in part to problems arising in the Far East in consequence of Japanese policy and actions.
24
[Page XXIII]Undated Joint Communiqué by the Secretary of State and the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, November 8, 1933
Announcement of opening of discussions concerning relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.
25
Undated Joint Statement by President Roosevelt and the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, November 10, 1933
Announcement that the President and Mr. Litvinov reviewed the questions previously discussed between the Secretary of State and Mr. Litvinov.
25
Nov. 15 From the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt
Summary of discussion with Litvinov concerning debts and claims.
25
Nov. 15 Memorandum by President Roosevelt and the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Discussion between Mr. Litvinov and President Roosevelt, the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, and Mr. Bullitt, concerning the amount to be paid by the Soviet Union in settlement of its debt.
26
Nov. 16 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Advice that as a result of the conversations the United States Government has decided to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and to exchange ambassadors.
27
Nov. 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Information that Soviet Union is glad to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Government of the United States and to exchange ambassadors.
28
Nov. 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Statement of policy concerning respect for the territorial and political integrity of the United States.
28
Nov. 16 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Statement of policy to adhere reciprocally to the engagements set forth in the Soviet note of November 16 (supra).
29
Nov. 16 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Expectation of the U.S. Government that American nationals within the territory of the Soviet Union will be allowed the same freedom of conscience and religious liberty which they enjoy in the United States.
29
Nov. 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Statement of policy guaranteeing freedom of conscience and religious liberty to American nationals in the Soviet Union.
30
[Page XXIV]Nov. 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Readiness of Soviet Union to grant to American nationals in the Soviet Union immediately upon establishment of U.S.-Soviet relations rights with reference to legal protection not less favorable than those enjoyed in the Soviet Union by nationals of the nation most favored in this respect and to include such rights in a consular convention.
33
Nov. 16 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Willingness to negotiate a consular convention as soon as practicable; information that American diplomatic and consular officers in the Soviet Union will be zealous in guarding the rights of American nationals.
34
[Nov. 16] Statement by the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Explanation of Soviet policy on the dissemination of economic information.
34
Nov. 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Release by the Soviet Union and assignment to the U.S. Government of any amounts which may be due the Soviet Government from American nationals as a result of litigation, or from the claim of the Russian Volunteer Fleet, pending a final settlement of the claims situation.
35
Nov. 16 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Acknowledgment of Soviet note concerning release and assignment of amounts due from claims.
36
Nov 16 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Waiver by Soviet Government of all claims arising out of activities of military forces of the United States in Siberia subsequent to January 1, 1918.
36
Undated Joint Statement by President Roosevelt and the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, November 16, 1933
Announcement that there has been an exchange of views on problems still outstanding and that there is hope for an early settlement of these questions.
37
Nov. 16 To Mr. Serge Ughet
Notification of withdrawal of U.S. recognition of Ughet as Russian Financial Attaché in view of U.S. recognition of the Government of the Soviet Union.
37
Nov. 17 From the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs to the Acting Secretary of State
Information that, with the knowledge of Mr. Litvinov, some of the records were transferred from the Russian Embassy, over which the Department of State assumed custody recently, to a more convenient place for consultation during the U.S.-Soviet conversations.
38
[Page XXV]Nov. 17 To the Russian Consul at Boston (tel.)
Information that status as Russian Consul is considered terminated as of November 16 in view of U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Information that the same notification was sent, mutatis mutandis, to the Russian Consuls General at Chicago and Seattle.)
38
Nov. 17 To All Diplomatic Missions Abroad (cir. tel.)
Instructions to enter into cordial official and social relations with Soviet colleagues in view of U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union on November 16.
39
Nov. 18 (5) From the Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State
Press statement (text printed) issued aboard ship, expressing gratification at resumption of normal relations with the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Information that Secretary Hull was en route to Montevideo to attend the Seventh International Conference of American States.)
39
Nov. 20 To the Soviet Chargé
Intention to recommend to the President the issuance of a proclamation discontinuing the levying of discriminatory tonnage duties on Soviet vessels and the cargoes imported therein upon receipt of satisfactory proof that no discriminatory tonnage duties and imposts are imposed by the Soviet Union upon American vessels or their cargoes.
40
Nov. 21 From the Soviet Chargé
Information that beginning November 21 U.S. vessels have been accorded the preferential rate of tonnage duty, and that no discriminatory duties are levied on produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported in American vessels.
(Footnote: Issuance of reciprocal proclamation signed January 16, 1934, effective as of November 21, 1933.)
40
Nov. 22 (12) From the Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State (tel.)
Intention, in view of Litvinov’s impending departure, to issue a statement explaining that while no decision has been reached on the question of debts and claims, conversations will be continued by responsible officers of both Governments.
41
Nov. 22 From the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs to President Roosevelt
Expression of thanks for courtesies extended during visit, and gratification at successful conclusion of mission.
42
Undated Extract from a Radio Address on November 22 by the Assistant Secretary of State
Observations on the U.S.-Soviet conferences and the final agreement resulting in U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union.
42
Nov. 23 From President Roosevelt to the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Acknowledgment of Litvinov’s letter of November 22.
43
[Page XXVI]Nov. 23 (1716) From the Chargé in Latvia
Summary of the leading editorial in the Moscow Izvestiya of November 20, concerning U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union.
43
Nov. 25 From the Russian Consulate General at New York
Inquiry as to whether to carry on work until the conclusion of a consular convention between the United States and the Soviet Union and the establishment of a Soviet Consulate at New York, or to cease functioning immediately.
46
Nov. 29 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Soviet Chargé who said that his Government would like to appoint a trade commissioner to reside in New York and to be given diplomatic status; reply that this would constitute an exception to the Department’s policy and that the President will be consulted in the matter.
47
Dec. 8 To the Ambassador in Germany (tel.)
For Bullitt (Appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union en route to his post) from Moore: Instructions to ascertain certain facts concerning Soviet obligations falling due in Germany in connection with plans for utilization of American-owned German obligations in financing trade with Soviet Union.
47
Dec. 12 To Mr. A. R. Feil
Advice as to status of former Russian Consulate General at New York, and information that that office should not undertake to perform consular functions.
49
Undated Remarks of the American Ambassador in the Soviet Union Upon the Presentation of His Letters of Credence to the President of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee, at Moscow, December 13, 1933
Text of remarks.
49
Undated Reply of the President of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee to the American Ambassador in the Soviet Union, at Moscow, December 13, 1933
Text of reply.
50
Dec. 20 To the Soviet Embassy
Nonobjection to the appointment of a Commercial Attaché or Counselor to the Soviet Embassy in Washington upon certain conditions, or to the maintenance by such official of an office and residence in New York.
51
Dec. 21 To the Ambassador in Germany (tel.)
For Bullitt from Moore: Request for opinion as to advisability of setting up a special bank or financial institution to effect transfer of American-owned German obligations to the Russians; request for data concerning Soviet maturities in Germany.
52
Dec. 23 (214) From the Ambassador in Germany (tel.)
For Moore from Bullitt: Approval of bank if no other method is practicable; information that list of Soviet obligations is being telegraphed to Washington by Litvinov.
52
[Page XXVII]Dec. 24 (576) From the Chargé in France (tel.)
From Bullitt: Litvinov’s inquiry as to whether the United States would have any objection if the Soviet Government should join the League of Nations.
53
Dec. 27 (578) From the Chargé in France (tel.)
For the Acting Secretary and Moore from Bullitt: Receipt from Soviet Commercial Attaché in Paris of list of Soviet obligations in reichsmarks due in 1934 with promise that list of dollar obligations will be obtained from Berlin at once.
54
1934 Jan. 4 (2) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Detailed report of visit to the Soviet Union.
55

1934

Negotiations To Implement the Agreements of November 1933, in Regard to Claims, Credits, and Other Matters Between the United States and the Soviet Union

Date and number Subject Page
1934 Feb. 10 From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, Temporarily in Washington
Conversation with Troyanovsky concerning preparations for U. S.-Soviet discussions of the question of claims of the U. S. Government and its nationals against the Soviet Union, and the correlated question of credits.
63
Feb. 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European, Affairs of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Troyanovsky’s enumeration of Soviet objections to several points in the U. S, draft proposal for the settlement of U. S. claims against the Soviet Union, and his request for clarification.
(The U. S. draft proposal, handed to Troyanovsky on February 20, set the amount of indebtedness at $150,000,000.)
65
Mar. 15 (13) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s objection to practically every feature of the draft proposal, and his assertion of understanding that the Export-Import Bank arrangements would consist of a “direct loan” rather than a form of credit.
66
Mar. 17 (11) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to inform Litvinov of the President’s statement that he has never had any thought of a direct loan to the Soviet Government and that there is no possibility of such a loan.
67
Mar. 18 (20) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Litvinov has agreed to refer the entire matter to Stalin; request for information as to the status of the Johnson bill and the effect it will have upon ordinary commercial credits to the Soviet Government.
68
[Page XXVIII]Mar. 19 (15) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Johnson bill prohibits loans to debtor governments in default to the United States except in connection with the Export-Import Bank credit transactions; explanation of special situation relative to the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Information that the Johnson bill was approved on April 13, 1934.)
68
Mar. 21 (24) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s reiteration of his unwillingness to settle on the basis of credits; his intention to refer the matter to Stalin within the next two or three days.
69
Mar. 23 (27) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Explanation to Voroshilov, who brought up question of obtaining steel rails from United States, that no credits could be granted until Soviet Union had settled its debts to United States.
70
Mar. 26 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Suggestion to Troyanovsky that all commercial and financial relations be brought to a standstill pending a clarification of the misunderstandings caused by Litvinov’s interpretation of the debt understanding of November 16, 1933.
70
Mar. 28 (12) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Account of several incidents which indicate Soviet reluctance to carry out other understandings with United States, particularly, unwillingness to lease certain property previously promised for the construction of a new U. S. Embassy in Moscow.
71
Apr. 2 (33) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet proposal that a 20-year credit be extended by the Export-Import Bank for double the amount of indebtedness to be paid to United States.
75
Apr. 5 (31) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Department regards the Soviet proposal of April 2 as wholly unacceptable.
76
Apr. 7 (35) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
U. S. draft proposal (text printed) which was handed to Troyanovsky on February 20.
78
Apr. 8 (43) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s refusal to accept the Department’s proposal of February 20 as a basis for negotiation on the ground that it is in contravention of his 1933 understanding with Roosevelt.
79
Apr. 8 (44) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Memorandum from Litvinov (text printed) concerning inventory at the disposal of the former Russian Embassy from 1917 through 1921.
81
Apr. 8 (45) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information of a lengthy prepared statement on the Johnson bill and Soviet-American relations given to American correspondents by Umansky; opinion that the statement was dictated by Litvinov, and recommendation that no comment be made with respect to it.
82
[Page XXIX]Apr. 9 (36) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Concurrence in suggestion of refraining from any further proposal for the time being unless it is invited by Litvinov.
82
Apr. 10 (50) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Rubinin will arrive in the United States on April 19; request that arrangements be made for port courtesies and, if possible, that the President express to him personally his own view of the understanding with Litvinov.
83
Apr. 12 (42) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that customs courtesies are being arranged for Rubinin; request for information concerning the purpose of his visit.
83
Apr. 13 (51) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that Rubinin is not empowered to negotiate, but that his trip is to give Troyanovsky an intimate view of Litvinov’s position in the matter of debts and claims, and to bring back to Moscow first-hand information as to the U. S. position.
84
Apr. 17 (52) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indications of unlikelihood that the Soviet Union will obtain credits in Sweden and Germany as desired.
84
Apr. 18 (45) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Troyanovsky, who expressed desire, under instructions, to discuss further the debt situation with the Department and the President.
85
Apr. 23 (50) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
From Moore: President Roosevelt’s concurrence in Ambassador’s recommendation that the next step in the debt question be left to the Soviet Government.
85
Undated Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State of an Interview Between President Roosevelt and the Ambassador of the Soviet Union on April 30, 1934
President Roosevelt’s rejection of Troyanovsky’s idea of transferring negotiations from Moscow to Washington inasmuch as Ambassador Bullitt and Litvinov were both parties to the Washington conversations in 1933 and are thoroughly familiar with all discussions that have since occurred.
86
May 1 (64) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of the interview of April 30, and advice that the President is leaving the negotiations in the Ambassador’s hands without having made any statement conflicting in any way with the Ambassador’s plans.
87
May 2 (71) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Inquiry as to whether the basic U. S.-Soviet disagreement was discussed between the President and Troyanovsky on April 30; opinion that if Troyanovsky gave no indication of Litvinov’s willingness to discuss the matter on the basis of the Department’s original draft agreement (February 20), the Ambassador should not reopen the matter but await a definite proposal from the Soviet Government.
88
[Page XXX]May 3 (65) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that none of the basic questions were referred to by the President or Troyanovsky; concurrence in the Ambassador’s suggestion.
88
May 7 (67) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of opinion of the Attorney General, rendered on May 5 and concurred in by the Department, on various questions pertaining to the Johnson Act.
89
May 7 (68) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the construction placed on the Johnson Act by the Attorney General upholds the Department’s understanding of the 1933 agreement, notwithstanding certain outside reports to the contrary.
90
May 7 (69) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indication from Troyanovsky that Litvinov desires to resume negotiations in Moscow; suggestion that the Ambassador approach Litvinov in the matter.
90
May 7 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Announcement that the Attorney General’s opinion leaves the Russian situation precisely as it was before the opinion was issued.
90
May 9 (79) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion of the debt question at Litvinov’s request, resulting in reproposal of Department’s original draft agreement and a new alternative proposal by Litvinov offering $100,000,000 as total amount.
91
May 11 (72) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Outline of a counterproposal to be presented to Litvinov, which sets minimum indebtedness at $125,000,000 and stipulates complete payment within 20 years; instructions on other details.
93
May 12 (73) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to advise Department promptly of any clarification or modification desired concerning its counterproposal.
94
May 13 (81) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for clarification of certain points before discussing the matter with Litvinov.
94
May 13 (82) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Explanation of the counterproposal to Litvinov, who seemed to acquiesce in principle; intention to call on Krestinsky and Rubinin, who have been designated to continue negotiations during Litvinov’s absence from Moscow.
95
May 15 (77) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Clarification of the points enumerated in Ambassador’s telegram No. 81, May 13; suggestion, however, that an effort be made to base the agreement on the original proposal, with points in the counterproposal to be used as concessions.
96
May 16 (84) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for further clarification; information that the original draft will be presented to Krestinsky and Rubinin in the afternoon of May 16.
97
[Page XXXI]May 16 (80) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information concerning the question raised in Ambassador’s telegram No. 84, May 16.
97
May 16 (85) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Presentation of the original draft proposal to Krestinsky and Rubinin. Krestinsky’s statement that the Soviets would make no agreement unless it placed them in position to buy for cash and not on credit; refusal to accept such a proposition.
97
May 18 (84) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of the Ambassador’s manner of handling the Soviet proposition; suggestion that Krestinsky and Rubinin might desire to instruct Troyanovsky to take up the matter with the President.
98
May 21 (90) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Rubinin’s assertion that Litvinov’s instructions expressly prohibited discussion of the matter by Troyanovsky; opinion that no mutually acceptable agreement is likely as long as the Soviet Union feels secure, especially against Japanese aggression.
99
May 23 (91) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that Litvinov’s attitude is wholly inconsistent with what was understood when he was in Washington. Information from reliable sources that the propaganda pledge is being violated by activities directed from Moscow. Question as to the advisability of discouraging for the time being private contracts such as a large sale reportedly contemplated by General Motors.
100
May 24 (104) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that inasmuch as the type of credit offered by General Motors is not forbidden by the Johnson Act, it would appear inadvisable to discourage such transaction. Assumption that the Department desires no further action in the debt question pending new proposals from the Soviet Government.
101
May 25 (98) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to use own discretion concerning further steps in the debt question.
101
May 29 (65) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Memorandum handed to the Ambassador by Rubinin, May 25 (text printed), on American consular representation in the Soviet Union.
102
June 6 (108) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for opinion as to whether there is any possibility of a satisfactory conclusion of negotiations at Moscow, and if not, whether the matter should and can be transferred to Washington.
103
June 8 (124) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that a full report concerning the Department’s question (supra) will be transmitted after discussion with Krestinsky on June 9.
103
[Page XXXII]June 8 (125) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Embassy, under constant pressure from American correspondents for information on the debt situation, has consistently maintained that developments have been of little significance in that the Soviet Union has refused to accept any real basis for negotiations.
104
June 8 (112) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that in reply to numerous inquiries from American businessmen, the Department has indicated a hopeful outlook as to the prospect of a debt agreement.
104
June 9 (132) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Reply to Department’s telegram No. 108 of June 6: Reiteration by Krestinsky of the views reported in telegram No. 85, May 16; belief that he will advise Troyanovsky to approach the Department soon with specific proposals.
104
June 12 (119) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Department will await possible approach from Troyanovsky; information as to unsatisfactory Soviet attitude in other matters which, if continued, should lead the Embassy to discourage Soviet belief that the Moscow building plans or other contemplated activities will be put into operation.
105
June 14 (140) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that the discouraging of private credits in the United States may prove to be an effective weapon in bringing the Soviet Government to terms, but that refusal to open Consulates or to proceed with construction of the new Embassy would be ineffective as pressure.
106
June 15 (142) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Rubinin’s inquiry as to U. S. attitude toward Soviet participation in forthcoming London Naval Conference; advice to Rubinin that if the Soviet Union desires U. S. collaboration in any field of world affairs, it must clear the air of distrust by settlement of the debt question.
107
June 15 (123) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Department has had no thought of asking the Ambassador to make any final declarations about construction of buildings in Moscow or establishment of Consulates, but felt that any intimations which could be made would have a wholesome effect.
108
June 16 (145–148) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Litvinov, who manifested stubborn opposition in setting forth his views on the various aspects of the debt issue; appraisal of Litvinov’s comments.
108
Undated Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union, June 20, 1934
Troyanovsky’s inquiry, under Litvinov’s instruction, as to the expediency of transferring the debt negotiations to Washington; Assistant Secretary’s approval of the proposal.
111
June 21 (129) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice of Department’s affirmative reply to Troyanovsky’s inquiry concerning the transfer of negotiations to Washington.
112
[Page XXXIII]June 21 (130) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for opinion on a proposed visit of the U. S. S. Minneapolis to Leningrad following a visit to Helsingfors on its training cruise.
112
June 30 (167) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that the Department’s ultimate decision as to the visit of a warship to Leningrad should be controlled by the result of conversations with Troyanovsky.
113
July 7 (173) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s assertion that Troyanovsky had received a negative reply from the Department concerning his inquiry as to whether a statement of the Soviet Government’s contemplated purchases in the United States might serve as a starting point for further negotiations; Litvinov’s indication that so far as the Soviet Government is concerned the matter is now at rest.
114
July 7 (149) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that, contrary to Litvinov’s statement, Troyanovsky has not made the inquiry alleged, but on the other hand has indicated his hope that he would be instructed to take up the debt negotiations in Washington.
114
July 9 (177) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s explanation concerning Troyanovsky’s instructions, and his promise to rectify the situation; résumé of an instruction now in transit to Troyanovsky.
115
July 9 (178) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Inquiry as to the Department’s position regarding a Soviet proposal for a bilateral nonaggression pact with United States, and also its attitude toward Soviet admission to the forthcoming Naval Conference in London.
116
July 10 (152) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions for answering inquiries regarding U.S. position on the two questions set forth in telegram No. 178 of July 9.
117
July 16 (160) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to telegraph a statement, to be shown to Troyanovsky, clarifying certain aspects of the understanding reached in the Washington conversations with Litvinov.
117
July 17 (195) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Review of U. S. understanding of the commitment accepted by Litvinov in Washington with respect to claims and indebtedness.
117
July 19 From the Assistant Secretary of State (Moore) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)
Résumé of developments in the debt and claims negotiations and transmittal of supporting documents.
119
July 21 (170) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that arrangements have been made for a meeting with Troyanovsky at the Department on July 25 for a general discussion of the question of settlement of debts and claims.
121
July 22 (207) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indications leading to opinion that Department’s negotiations with Troyanovsky will begin at a favorable moment.
121
[Page XXXIV]Undated To the Embassy of the Soviet Union
Résumé of the Department’s understanding of the general basis for the debt settlement as discussed between Litvinov and U. S. officials in Washington in 1933, and President Roosevelt’s refusal to consider either a cash loan or an uncontrolled credit.
122
July 25 (173) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Troyanovsky appears to realize the impossibility of obtaining a cash loan or an uncontrolled credit and is now exploring other possible processes of credit transactions; that conversations will be continued on July 30.
123
July 27 (221) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Belief, after conversation with Voroshilov, that Litvinov has not presented to the Kremlin an altogether accurate version of the debt discussions.
123
July 30 (231) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from Litvinov with respect to his further difficulties with Troyanovsky concerning misinterpretation of his instructions and views of the Department; Litvinov’s complaint against any sort of publicity pertaining to resumption of debt negotiations.
124
July 30 (184) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Department’s expression of regret to Troyanovsky concerning an unfavorable interpretation given by the press to a statement issued by the president of the Export-Import Bank.
125
Aug. 3 (239) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Soviet Union is now attempting to produce the impression that large credits are available to it in both France and Germany.
126
Aug. 3 Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Continuation of debt discussions between Troyanovsky and Department officials; Department’s willingness to revise immediately its memorandum of July 25.
127
Aug. 4 (245) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Apprehension that no decisions can be expected on the debt question until sometime in September, as both Litvinov and Stalin will be away from Moscow.
128
Aug. 10 Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Troyanovsky’s presentation of objections to latest U. S. plan; Secretary’s suggestion that inasmuch as the Department has already presented several draft proposals, apparently unacceptable, the next proposal should come from the Soviet Government.
129
Aug. 14 (202) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Account of incidents pointing up violations of the Litvinov propaganda pledge; opinion that these incidents should be brought to Litvinov’s attention in view of the approaching meeting of the Seventh Congress of the Communist International.
132
[Page XXXV]Aug. 15 Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
General discussion of the debt question, and the Secretary’s expression of dissatisfaction with prolonged fruitless negotiations; Troyanovsky’s promise to present a counterproposal within a few days.
134
Aug. 17 (256) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from the French Chargé that there is no foundation to reports that France contemplates a loan to the Soviet Government and credits for the purchase of military material.
135
Aug. 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Troyanovsky’s compromise proposal (text printed); Secretary’s statement to the press (text printed) concerning the dim prospect of a successful conclusion of an agreement.
135
Aug. 29 To President Roosevelt, Temporarily at Hyde Park, New York
Inquiry as to whether the President would prefer the debt question brought to a prompt conclusion if possible or negotiations delayed until after elections.
138
Aug. 31 From President Roosevelt
Opinion that the Soviet debt question should be brought to a conclusion if possible, inasmuch as the coming elections do not present a valid reason for delay.
139
Sept. 1 From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Impracticability of a suggestion by an American corporation with respect to a possible concession from the Soviet Government for gold mining in Eastern Siberia.
139
Sept. 5 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Deadlock in the debt negotiations between Troyanovsky and Department officials due to maintenance of respective positions on the question of a loan.
140
Sept. 7 (233) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice of failure to reach an agreement with Troyanovsky; advice that the Executive Committee of the Bank is now considering rescinding or modifying the Resolution which prevents credit transactions pending debt negotiations.
142
Sept. 8 (291) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for information concerning the decision of the Executive Committee.
142
Sept. 8 (235) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Difficulty in connection with the question before the Executive Committee due to previous assurances given to Congress when the Johnson bill was under consideration; advice that Department is awaiting the next step from Troyanovsky.
142
Sept. 9 (292) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion of Karl Radek that Litvinov has not accurately informed Stalin as to the points of difference between the two Governments with respect to the debt settlement, and that the Ambassador should have a frank talk with Stalin in the matter.
143
[Page XXXVI]Sept. 13 (298) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Skirvsky, temporarily in Moscow, who urged settlement based on Troyanovsky’s last proposal. Request for confirmation of opinion, as expressed to Skirvsky, that neither U. S. public opinion nor the President’s position has altered concerning direct loans or uncontrolled credits to any nation.
144
Sept. 15 (246) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Nonobjection to the Ambassador’s having a talk with Stalin, and outline of essential questions to be discussed with him; confirmation of Ambassador’s views concerning U. S. public opinion and the President’s position.
145
Sept. 15 (303) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Rubinin’s assertion of Soviet Union’s necessity for making an agreement which could not possibly serve as a basis for an agreement with England or France.
146
Sept. 15 (304) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Radek’s opinion, after further consideration, that Litvinov reported to Stalin with substantial accuracy; his analysis of Stalin’s unalterable position. Opinion that it would be unwise to have a conversation with Stalin now.
147
Sept. 17 (247) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that it would now seem obligatory for the Soviet Union to propose some plan that may conceivably be acceptable.
148
Sept. 21 (254) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that at Troyanovsky’s suggestion, negotiations have been resumed and will be continued after he has communicated with Moscow.
148
Sept. 21 (316) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Belief that before proceeding further, some method must be found to overcome the Soviet objection with regard to complicating its relations with France and England.
149
Sept. 27 (328) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
General discussion of debts and claims, during which Krestinsky made two suggestions but was assured that neither would be considered acceptable; possibility of development of a third proposal by Krestinsky.
149
Sept. 27 (329) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Krestinsky’s third informal suggestion based on U. S. credits to the Soviet Union in the form of a revolving fund to be used according to a certain formula.
151
Sept. 27 (330) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Expected arrival of Troyanovsky and Litvinov in Moscow early in October, and Krestinsky’s plan for their consultation with the Ambassador; advice that these plans conflict with the Ambassador’s schedule to visit the Far East en route to America, but that the schedule can be revised if necessary.
151
[Page XXXVII]Sept. 27 (260) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Notification of Troyanovsky’s instructions to return to Moscow for further discussion of the debt question; information that he has been repeatedly advised of the possibility of reaching an agreement if the Soviet Government would abandon its demand for a straight loan or an open credit equivalent to a loan.
152
Sept. 28 (333) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from Rubinin that the Soviet Government is reluctant to modify its position but nevertheless hopes to arrange a consultation between the Ambassador, Litvinov, and Troyanovsky.
153
Oct. 1 (264) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
President Roosevelt’s concurrence in the Department’s view that it will not be necessary for the Ambassador to remain in Moscow until Troyanovsky’s arrival; impression that Troyanovsky’s trip to Moscow is on his own initiative to press for Soviet acceptance of the U. S. proposal.
153
Oct. 2 (336) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for exact terms of the U. S. proposal which Troyanovsky will promote, since Rubinin has inaccurately reported other information concerning Troyanovsky’s conversations with the Department.
154
Oct. 2 (266) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of the Department’s position, as explained to Troyanovsky, which among other points reiterates its unalterable stand on the question of a straight loan or an open credit.
154
Oct. 5 (342) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Litvinov, who reemphasized the Soviet Government’s difficulty in finding a formula for the settlement of the debt question which will not cause trouble with England and France.
155
Oct. 5 (344) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Informal oral protest to Litvinov regarding the direction from Moscow of activities of the Communist movement in the United States; inquiry as to desirability of a written protest.
156
Oct. 8 (273) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of the Ambassador’s plan to leave Moscow; instructions for further oral representations to Litvinov regarding the Communist movement in the United States.
157
Oct. 10 (354) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion with Litvinov concerning his agreement with the President and the unyielding Soviet attitude toward settlement of the debt question; Litvinov’s concluding remark that a final proposal will be made through Troyanovsky.
157
Oct. 20 (368) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Troyanovsky’s explanation of a proposal based on the Department’s draft but varied in certain aspects not heretofore discussed; résumé of later conversation with Litvinov. Opinion that despite Litvinov’s objectionable tactics, the question of solving U. S.-Soviet differences is not hopeless.
159
[Page XXXVIII]Nov. 10 (380) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that present domestic political difficulties in France, seriously viewed by Moscow, may facilitate U. S.-Soviet negotiations. Information of Troyanovsky’s stormy relations with Litvinov and of postponement of his return to America, presumably to complete his conversations with the Party leaders.
161
Nov. 18 (389) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion of implications of Troyanovsky’s plan to return to America via the Far East, and of intention of Marchandeau, the French Minister of Commerce, to visit Moscow.
162
Nov. 22 (396) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that the Soviet Union will not formulate its position with respect to debt settlement until after Marchandeau’s visit, which is scheduled for the first half of December.
163
Nov. 28 (397) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Troyanovsky, who recounted the increasing difficulties being experienced by the Soviet Union in connection with the question of debt settlement due to the bartering techniques of other countries, which he suspects as maneuvers to thwart negotiations with the United States.
164
Dec. 1 (401) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that apparently Troyanovsky was unable to elicit any specific instructions on the debt negotiations before his departure from Moscow and that none will be issued until after Marchandeau’s visit.
165

1935

Failure of Negotiations To Implement the Agreements of November 1933, in Regard to Claims and Credits Between the United States and the Soviet Union; Reduction of Embassy Personnel and Abolition of the Consulate General at Moscow

Date and number Subject Page
1935 Jan. 28 Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Discussion of a general nature, and decision to call a conference on January 31 for the final disposition of the question of settlement of debts and claims.
166
Jan. 30 Memorandum by the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, Temporarily in Washington
Troyanovsky’s explanation of the Soviet Government’s view with respect to credits, and his assurance that Stalin desires friendly relations with the United States.
168
Jan. 31 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Conference between Troyanovsky and Department officials during which Troyanovsky rejected a re-offer of the Department’s last proposal (September 1934); Secretary’s conclusion that the debt negotiations must be considered terminated in view of the unyielding Soviet position.
170
[Page XXXIX]Jan. 31 (24) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that a statement of U. S. position relative to the breakdown in the debt negotiations is being issued for publication at 9 p.m.; that instructions will follow regarding certain changes to be made in U. S. diplomatic representation in Moscow.
171
Jan. 31 To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (circ. tel.)
Statement issued by the Department concerning failure of the debt negotiations (text printed).
(Footnote: The same telegram to all diplomatic missions in Europe, the Embassy in Tokyo, and the Legation in Peiping.)
172
Feb. 1 (87) From the Ambassador in France (tel.)
Discussion of Department’s statement with Marchandeau, Minister of Commerce; Marchandeau’s opinion that the breakdown in negotiations was brought about by Soviet reluctance to recognize any debts, whatever their origin might be.
173
Feb. 2 (41) From the Chargé, in the Soviet Union (tel.)
For Bullitt from Faymonville: Arguments against the withdrawal of U. S. Military and Air Attachés from Moscow, as confidentially reported to be contemplated by the U. S. Government.
173
Feb. 3 (45) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet press reaction to the Department’s statement; translation of Litvinov’s statement (text printed) as carried in the Moscow Daily News.
174
Feb. 3 (46) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Inquiry as to the advisability of discreetly utilizing the American press to capitalize on the Soviet paradox of claiming an excellent credit position and simultaneously warning of imminent aggression against the Soviet Union.
175
Feb. 4 (48) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Soviet press has printed excerpts from certain American newspapers criticizing U. S. action in precipitating the rupture of debt negotiations, but that to date only one Soviet press editorial comment has been made with regard to the situation.
176
Feb. 5 (50) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Litvinov appears unruffled by the failure of negotiations and has intimated that the debt question may possibly be resolved at some later date; opinion that high quarters are much disturbed over the breakdown and that Litvinov is under considerable pressure.
176
Feb. 6 (26) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Announcement to the press of changes to be made in U. S. representation in Moscow.
177
Feb. 6 (27) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions regarding abolition of the Consulate General, establishment of a Consular Section in the Embassy, and changes in personnel.
177
Feb. 6 (378) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Analysis of the Moscow factors which have obstructed a successful conclusion of the debt negotiations.
178
[Page XL]Feb. 7 (53) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Consulate General has been abolished as of February 6, in accordance with instruction No. 27, February 6.
180
Feb. 7 (54) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information concerning arrangements for farewell interviews for the Military and Naval Attachés with Voroshilov.
180
Feb. 9 (56) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Litvinov has belittled significance of the breakdown of debt negotiations, apparently in an endeavor to smooth over a bad situation.
181
Feb. 11 (59) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Intention of Soviet press to refrain from attacking U. S. Government at this time in order to avoid any increased tension in Soviet-American relations; advice, however, that it continues to quote American newspaper articles which criticize the U. S. Government.
181
Feb. 14 (61) From, the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Paraphrase of a report (text printed) prepared by Captain Nimmer concerning his farewell interview with Voroshilov.
182
Feb. 18 (71) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of an interview between Litvinov and Walter Duranty on February 16 relative to the Roosevelt-Litvinov conversations of 1933. Request for the Department’s attitude toward the holding of regular press conferences by the Chargé as has been suggested by American correspondents.
184
Feb. 19 (39) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Objection to the suggestion that the Chargé hold regular press conferences; instructions for replies to questions concerning the Roosevelt-Litvinov conversations and the understanding between them.
184
Feb. 27 (82) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Duranty is filing a despatch to the New York Times based on his interview with Foreign Office officials, who called him in to explain the Soviet Government’s opposing view with respect to American press comments on the Litvinov-Roosevelt understanding.
185
Mar. 6 (88) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that Duranty confirms the Chargé’s impression that Soviet authorities are becoming increasingly perturbed over relations with the United States and that uneasiness is replacing the calm attitude displayed at the termination of negotiations.
185
Mar. 25 (499) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report on visit from P. L. Mikhailsky (“Lapinsky”), who expressed pessimistic views concerning U.S.-Soviet relations; opinion that Mikhailsky called under Soviet orders and that his attitude reflects that of the highest Soviet quarters.
186
[Page XLI]May 16 (200) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indication that Litvinov would not be averse to reopening the question of debts and claims, if agreement seemed likely; his opinion, however, that at the moment the difficulties appear insurmountable.
188
May 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Discussion between Troyanovsky and Department officials with respect to various matters affecting U.S.-Soviet trade relations; U.S. suggestion for a temporary modus vivendi.
189
June 19 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affair’s
Brief outline by Assistant Secretary Moore of his suggestion for a temporary working agreement; Troyanovsky’s promise to discuss the matter with his Government, although he is not optimistic as to the outcome.
(Footnote: Information that no record of any reply from the Soviet Government to this proposal has been found in Department files.)
190
(Editorial note: Reference to certain sections under the years 1936, 1937, 1938, and 1939 for incidental consideration of the question of debts, claims, and credits.) 191

Agreement To Facilitate and Increase Trade Between the United States and the Soviet Union, Effected by an Exchange of Notes Signed at Moscow on July 13, 1935

Date and number Subject Page
1935 Mar. 27 (71) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Reference to tariff concessions being made in connection with U. S. trade agreements program; instructions to ascertain the Soviet attitude toward possible generalization to the Soviet Union of similar concessions in exchange for a definite commitment to increase substantially Soviet purchases of U. S. products.
192
Apr. 2 (133) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the matter set forth in telegram No. 71, March 27, has been discussed with Litvinov; that a written reply will be made after Litvinov confers with the Commissar for Foreign Trade.
193
Apr. 5 (135) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s assurance of Soviet willingness to accept in principle the U.S. proposal in order to obtain tariff concessions on the most-favored-nation basis; his suggestion that the agreement be effected by an exchange of notes, and his promise to present a draft note within a few days.
193
Apr. 6 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Estimate of $30,000,000 as adequate volume of 1935 Soviet purchases of U.S. products to furnish a satisfactory basis for generalizing to the Soviet Union tariff concessions accorded to other countries.
194
[Page XLII]Apr. 10 (140) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Translation of two drafts for an exchange of notes (texts printed) handed to the Chargé by Rubinin; advice to Rubinin that the notes would probably not be acceptable because of absence of certain desired assurances.
194
Apr. 20 (79) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Draft identic note (infra) to be exchanged between the Ambassador and Litvinov instead of the Soviet draft notes; instructions for presenting the substitute draft to the Foreign Office.
196
Apr. 22 (81) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Paraphrase of identic note granting most-favored-nation treatment to Soviet products in exchange for written promise of Soviet purchases to the amount of $30,000,000 during 1935.
197
Apr. 25 (158) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the U.S. draft note was mentioned informally to Litvinov during courtesy call; intention to present the note formally within the week.
198
May 4 (176) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Presentation of the U.S. draft note; Litvinov’s indication that his Government is not ready to make any promises to purchase any fixed amount; his desire to discuss the matter further with various Commissariats before giving final answer.
198
May 16 (202) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet counterdraft of note (text printed) omitting promise to purchase definite amount of American goods, and providing for general most-favored-nation treatment.
199
May 27 (111) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Department would agree to omission of statement of definite amount of purchases provided a separate note is received indicating Soviet undertaking to increase purchases to a contemplated $30,000,000; inability, however, to agree to general most-favored-nation treatment.
200
June 3 (219) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further discussion with Litvinov and explanation of U.S. position.
201
June 19 (243) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Draft note and supplementary letter (texts printed) handed to the Ambassador by Litvinov; advice that the note, proposing general most-favored-nation treatment, is based on the U.S.-Czechoslovak agreement of 1935, and the supplementary letter sets forth Soviet “intention” with respect to purchases in the United States.
202
July 1 (142) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Reiteration of U.S. inability to incorporate general most-favored-nation treatment in the exchange of notes; indication that the supplementary letter is acceptable.
205
July 4 (264) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s agreement to accept the U.S. draft note on all points except one, which might result in discriminatory tariff on Soviet coal.
206
[Page XLIII]July 6 (144) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Clarification of the proviso to which the Soviet Union objected.
207
July 8 (271) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that Litvinov, upon receiving Department’s explanation, offered no objection but intimated that the matter would have to be referred again to Rosengoltz and Stalin.
208
July 8 (272) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Draft note (text printed) which the Soviet Government is prepared to sign on July 11; request for authority to sign the notes mutatis mutandis with Litvinov inasmuch as they follow the U.S. proposal on all essential points; expectation that satisfactory arrangement will be made at the same time concerning Litvinov’s supplementary letter.
208
July 10 (147) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Desire to defer signature of the notes until July 12, if agreeable to the Soviet Government, in order to have time to prepare a statement to be made by the Ambassador at the time of signature.
209
July 11 (149) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Statement (text printed) to be issued to the press by the Ambassador upon publication of the exchange of notes.
210
July 11 (275) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Minor difficulties with Litvinov over date and timing of publication of his supplementary letter to the Ambassador; request for approval of certain suggestions for a compromise.
211
July 11 (151) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of suggestions;instructions with respect to publication of the notes and letter upon reaching an understanding with Litvinov.
212
July 11 (150) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that in anticipation of an early conclusion of the commercial agreement, the Department has included the Soviet Union in the list of countries whose products are placed in the same duty category as that specified in the trade agreement recently concluded between the United States and Sweden.
212
July 11 (276) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further discussion with Litvinov concerning timing of signature and publication of the notes.
213
July 12 (279) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for approval of the substitution of different wording for one sentence in statement to be issued to the press.
213
July 12 (152) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of suggested substitution of sentence; instructions for releasing texts of documents to the press.
214
July 13 (281) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the notes and letters were signed with Litvinov on July 13, that the notes will be released to the press on the same day, and the letters relative to Soviet purchases will be released on July 15.
214
[Page XLIV]July 15 (154) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
From Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau: Congratulations upon successful conclusion of negotiations.
215
(Editorial note: Citation to texts of agreement and press release.) 215
July 19 (728) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Résumé of editorial comment and articles published by a number of Soviet newspapers with respect to the significance and scope of the U.S.-Soviet agreement.
215
Nov. 30 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Statistics indicating the improved status of U.S.-Soviet trade relations during the nine months ending September 30, 1935.
217

Protest to the Soviet Union Against Activities of the Seventh Congress of the Communist International as a Violation of Pledged Noninterference in the Internal Affairs of the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1935 May 13 (375) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Indication that the Seventh All World Congress of the Communist International, postponed in September to some undetermined date, will be held in the near future; request that arrangements be made to report the proceedings and to identify the American delegates stationed permanently in Moscow on the Executive Committee of the Communist International.
218
June 22 (249) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Difficulty in obtaining authoritative information as to the scheduled date of the meeting.
219
July 2 (262) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from Louis Fischer that a full Congress may be held in Moscow at the end of July or the first of August; request for instructions for answering hypothetical questions such as one posed by Fischer as to what attitude the U.S. Government would take toward attacks on the United States in the All World Congress by American members of the Communist International.
220
July 3 (143) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of previous instructions which outlined the U. S. attitude toward foreign interference in U. S. domestic affairs, especially as demonstrated by violations of the Soviet propaganda pledge; instructions to stress these points in reply to any inquiries.
221
July 8 (270) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indications that the Soviet Government will attempt to disclaim any connection with plans and activities of the Congress; suggestion that a definite U. S. course of action be formulated now in view of the probability that Litvinov’s pledge in this respect will be violated.
221
[Page XLV]July 9 (273) 1935 From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of information that the Ambassador’s remarks counseling against further strain on U. S.-Soviet relations have had a salutary effect upon certain Soviet leaders: belief that it may result in cancellation of the meeting of the Congress.
223
July 13 (282) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s denial of any knowledge of plans pertaining to the Congress or of any promises to the President to restrain the activities of the Communist International.
223
July 19 (293) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Report of further plans concerning the meeting of the Congress scheduled for July 19; intention to remain in Moscow during the proceedings.
224
July 19 (730) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations concerning the present and future policy of the Soviet Union, and conclusion that the dominant aim is and will remain that of producing world revolution.
224
July 26 (306) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Excerpts (text printed) from Wilhelm Pieck’s keynote speech at the opening of the Congress on July 25; list of items on the approved agenda and enumeration of American nationals elected to the Presidium and various committees.
228
July 29 (316) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Speech (text printed) by American delegate, Earl Browder, setting forth the development and further objectives of the Communist Party in the United States.
229
July 30 (320) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Speech (text printed) by American delegate, Darcy, urging unity of purpose among sailors and dockworkers of all countries.
231
Aug. 2 (174) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for opinion at the close of the Congress as to the extent to which Litvinov’s propaganda pledge was violated and what action should be taken.
232
Aug. 2 (326) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Resolutions of the Seventh All World Congress (text printed), as accepted on August 1, concerning the work of the Executive Committee.
233
Aug. 6 (336) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Excerpt (text printed) from Dimitrov’s speech of August 2 analyzing the American role in the establishment of a united front against Fascism by the Communist International.
235
Aug. 9 (342) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Speech, August 4 (text printed), by American delegate Green, setting forth the necessity for drawing the masses of youth into the Communist International.
237
Aug. 15 (350) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Speech, August 11 (text printed), by Browder, urging a coalition of the working classes for the creation of a united labor union movement.
239
[Page XLVI]Aug. 16 (185) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that a number of protests against the violations of the Soviet pledge have been received, but that the Department is awaiting conclusion of the Congress and receipt of the Ambassador’s recommendations before taking any action.
241
Aug. 19 (359) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with the British Counselor, who related his Government’s unfavorable attitude toward the Congress of the Communist International, and inquired as to U. S. attitude.
242
Aug. 19 (188) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to telegraph the names and positions of Soviet Government officials participating in the Seventh Congress.
242
Aug. 19 (189) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for the Ambassador’s recommendations immediately upon close of the Congress, in view of the President’s scheduled departure from Washington within the week.
242
Aug. 21 (361) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Partial list of Soviet officials and American nationals reported by the Soviet press to have participated in the proceedings; information that the full list of delegates has not yet been published.
243
Aug. 21 (363–369) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Comments classifying the proceedings of the Seventh Congress as a direct violation of the Soviet propaganda pledge; outline of recommended future policy, not to include, however, severance of diplomatic relations or written protest at this time.
244
Aug. 21 (370) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
For the President: Comments in connection with Ambassador’s telegram No. 363–369, August 21.
249
Aug. 23 (195) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Transmittal of draft note of protest, with instructions for presenting it to the Foreign Office.
249
Aug. 25 (384) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Presentation of the note to Krestinsky with no comment other than a statement of U. S. intention to publish it at once.
250
Aug. 25 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Text of U. S. note of protest against the activities of the Seventh Congress of the Communist International as a direct violation of the Soviet pledge concerning noninterference in the internal affairs of the United States.
250
Aug. 27 (392) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of Krestinsky’s reply (infra) to U. S. note of protest; request for instructions as to further action.
251
Aug. 27 (393) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Text of Soviet reply, rejecting U. S. protest and disclaiming any breach of the Soviet pledge.
252
Aug. 27 (394) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Recommendation that the measures outlined in telegram No. 363–369 of August 21 be executed without delay in view of the portent of the Soviet reply.
253
[Page XLVII]Aug. 28 (204) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Statement to the press, issued by the Soviet Ambassador, Troyanovsky, August 26 (text printed).
253
Aug. 28 (205) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
President Roosevelt’s opinion that Secretary Hull should issue a statement of U. S. position rather than send another note to Soviet Government; further opinion or pertinent information.
254
Aug. 28 (206) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to ascertain from Italian and Latvian colleagues the validity of press reports from Moscow that they have made oral protests to the Soviet Government concerning the recent Congress of the Communist International.
254
Aug. 29 (399) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Confirmation of reports that oral protests were made by the Italian, Latvian, and British representatives.
255
Aug. 29 (207) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to keep Department informed of Soviet press references to recent exchange of notes.
255
Aug. 30 (400) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Tass communiqué August 28 (text printed), summarizing the contents of the exchange of notes; advice that no other comments on the notes have been made in the Soviet press.
256
Aug. 30 (401) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the full resolutions of the Seventh Congress were published by Pravda on August 29; that the resolution on Dimitrov’s report contains a general program for world revolution.
257
Sept. 1 Statement by the Secretary of State
Reiteration of U.S. position concerning the Soviet violation of the propaganda pledge of November 16, 1933, and refutation of Soviet denial of responsibility in the activities of the Communist International.
257
Sept. 3 (406) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Statement transmitted by Tass from Washington (text printed) reporting the release of the Secretary’s statement; advice that no details of the statement or comments concerning it have been published.
259
Sept. 26 (439) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Report of the opening of the Sixth Congress of the Communist International of Youth in Moscow, September 25, and enumeration of U. S. delegates elected to the Presidium.
260
Oct. 9 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Conversation with Troyanovsky, who referred to the recently adopted resolutions of the Seventh Congress as a change of policy in the Communist International; counterargument that the resolutions constitute a tactical maneuver to tighten Moscow’s control over the various communist parties.
260
[Page XLVIII]Oct. 11 (941) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report on the proceedings of the Sixth Youth Congress; advice that little publicity has been given to the meeting by the Soviet press.
262
Nov. 9 (478) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Litvinov’s views on the international situation as expressed in a recent conversation, and his reiteration of his denial of having pledged any obligations of his Government with respect to the activities of the Communist International.
264
Nov. 23 (1071) From the Second Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of the resolutions adopted by the Sixth Youth Congress, and advice that they call for a radical reorganization together with complete renunciation of imitation of the parent organizations, the communist parties.
265

Postponement of Construction of an American Embassy in Moscow Because of Inability To Arrive at Satisfactory Agreements Regarding Building

Date and number Subject Page
1934 Dec. 18 (305) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Enumeration of questions with respect to problems involved in the proposed construction of U. S. Embassy buildings in Moscow; advice that conclusion of the final plans is contingent upon receipt of written assurances concerning these questions.
268
Dec. 23 (423) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that after months of fruitless efforts to obtain the assurances requested, the situation has been further complicated by the sudden transfer of the matter to the Foreign Office; request for instructions.
269
1935 Jan. 8 (4) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to present personally to Litvinov a formal note embodying the questions contained in despatch No. 305, December 18; to endeavor to obtain written assurances within a fortnight in view of desire to begin the construction by early spring.
270
Jan. 10 (9) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Informal discussion with Krestinsky of the questions to be incorporated in the formal note; intention to present the note to Krestinsky on January 11, since Litvinov has left for Geneva.
270
Jan. 11 (12) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Presentation of the note and discussion of the questions raised therein with Krestinsky; opinion that the Soviet reply will contain numerous reservations which will render it unsatisfactory.
271
Jan. 23 (29) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Continued efforts to obtain a reply to the note presented on January 11.
272
[Page XLIX]Mar. 4 (87) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office reply, March 3 (text printed), to note of January 11; enumeration of unsatisfactory aspects of the reply, and request for further instructions.
273
June 3 (220) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion with Litvinov of the content of an inter-office memorandum (infra), which sets forth U. S. reasons for considering the proposed construction a technical impossibility in view of the reservations outlined in the Foreign Office reply of March 3.
274
June 4 (223) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Inter-office memorandum (text printed) which was discussed with Litvinov.
276
Sept. 19 To the Consul at Venice (tel.)
For Bullitt: Request for comments as to the possible diversion of the Moscow building fund for construction at certain unhealthful posts in Central America, inasmuch as there appears to be no immediate prospect of initiating the Moscow construction.
277
Sept. 27 From the Consul at Venice (tel.)
From Bullitt: Approval of the transfer of the Moscow building fund to Central American posts.
277
(Editorial note: Information that in 1936 U. S. reasons for abandonment of the Moscow construction were repeated to Ambassador Troyanovsky; and that it was late in 1937 before Soviet authorities again mentioned the Embassy building plans.) 277

Adhesion of the Soviet Union to the Spitzbergen Treaty of February 9, 1920, With the Consent of the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1934 Undated Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State of a Conversation With the French Ambassador, November 23, 1934
Inquiry as to whether the U. S. Government would object to an approach by the French Government to the Soviet Union with a view to obtaining Soviet adherence to the Treaty of Spitzbergen.
278
Nov. 23 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Review of French efforts over a 10-year period to obtain U. S. assent to Soviet adherence to the Spitzbergen Treaty; indication that former U. S. objection based on nonrecognition of the Soviet regime no longer applies.
278
1935 June 26 From the French Ambassador
Advice that the Soviet Union, by an Act dated May 7, has adhered to the Treaty.
279
Dec. 30 (1025) From the Minister in Latvia
Information that a note concerning Soviet adherence has been included in the Collection of Laws and Orders of the U. S. S. R.
280
[Page L]

Agreement Between the United States and the Soviet Union Relative to the Execution of Letters Rogatory, Effected by Exchange of Notes Signed at Moscow on November 22, 1935

Date and number Subject Page
(Editorial note: Citation to text of arrangement.) 280

1936

Reports on Developments of Significance Concerning Soviet Relations With Other Countries, Especially With the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1936 Jan. 9 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Discussion with Skirvsky concerning the difficulties confronting the Embassy in Moscow as a result of two recent Soviet decrees announcing plans for closing the Torgsin stores (All-Union Combine for Trade with Foreigners) and proposed monetary changes envisaging stabilization of the ruble.
281
Jan. 11 (16) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of a speech by Molotov on Soviet relations in general with other countries; excerpt of his comments pertaining to U. S.-Soviet relations.
282
Jan. 13 (18) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations as to the tendency of Soviet officials to revise their previous policy of belittling the importance of the United States as a factor in present world affairs.
284
Jan. 15 (21) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information concerning the Soviet budget for the current year, which provides for an increase of 21.5 percent over the past year, the increase to be allotted in the main to purely military items.
285
Jan. 16 (24) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Comments on Soviet motives behind the increased military budget and the increased emphasis on military affairs.
285
Jan. 16 (25) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Tukhachevski’s speech before the Central Executive Committee on January 15 describing the progress of the Red Army during 1935.
286
Jan. 17 (29) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Suggestion of a Soviet official that a friendly gesture by the United States, similar to that intended by Molotov in references to the United States in his recent speech, would contribute toward improvement of U. S.-Soviet relations; reply that the Soviet attitude with respect to the activities of the Communist International made friendly gestures difficult.
287
Mar. 2 (76) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of interviews which Roy Howard had with Stalin and Litvinov; comments on subject of interference in internal affairs of United States by the Comintern.
288
Mar.4 (1436) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations on conditions in the Soviet Union which, except for a few minor changes, are verbatim extracts from despatches written in the years 1851–53 by Neil S. Brown, American Minister to Russia; opinion that the description is equally applicable to present-day conditions.
289
[Page LI]Apr. 20 (1537) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Views as to the policies the United States should follow with respect to the Soviet Union and Communism.
291
May 25 (1612) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Résumé of an article published in Foreign Trade of the U. S. S. R., describing Soviet efforts to transfer to Soviet territory the negotiations for concluding foreign trade transactions which involve Soviet organizations; enumeration of reasons considered to have caused the desire for this change.
296
Aug. 12 (181) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Oral information from a Foreign Trade official that the Soviet Government does not contemplate changing in the near future its purchasing procedure in the United States.
298
Aug. 18 (1810) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Soviet reduction of the draft age for active military service in the Red Army from 21 to 19 years; impossibility for the Embassy to determine accurately the significance of the decision.
299
Aug. 27 (195) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations concerning the Zinovyev-Kamenyev trial, and enumeration of reasons, in the Embassy’s opinion, for staging the trial at the present time.
300
Sept. 1 (1850) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Further views on the Zinovyev-Kamenyev trial.
302
Nov. 8 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Troyanovsky’s opinion that Western Europe will be engaged in a war in less than two years.
303
Undated (Rec’d Oct. 28) Memorandum by the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Summary of conversation with a Soviet official, who gave his views concerning the meaning of “Tarty democracy” and the future composition of the Party.
304
Nov. 10 (2063) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Observations concerning the resumption on November 1 of admission of new members into the Communist Party upon completion of the Party purge which began in 1932.
306
Nov. 16 (2042) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Comments on developments in U. S.-Soviet relations since recognition was accorded to the Soviet Government November 16, 1933.
307
Dec. 3 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with Troyanovsky regarding certain Soviet practices adversely affecting U. S.-Soviet relations.
319
Dec. 31 (2182) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Information obtained from German Embassy officials concerning the arrest of German citizens in the Soviet Union.
320
[Page LII]

Commercial Agreement Between the United States and the Soviet Union Continuing in Force Until July 13, 1937, the Agreement of July 13, 1935, Effected by Exchange of Notes Signed on July 11, 1936

Date and number Subject Page
1936 Jan. 14 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with Ambassador Bullitt concerning the possibility of renewing for another year the commercial agreement of 1935.
322
Feb. 7 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Discussion with the Soviet Ambassador concerning general aspects of world trade.
323
Apr. 27 (1549) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations concerning the significance of a recent conversation between Mr. Rosenblum and Mr. Henderson with respect to U. S.-Soviet trade relations; opinion that the question of U. S. import duties imposed upon Soviet coal will be raised again in connection with discussions for renewal of the agreement of 1935.
324
June 4 (80) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to seek an interview with Litvinov or Krestinsky in order to ascertain information on certain points for the Department’s guidance in considering the question of extending the term of the agreement of 1935.
325
June 9 (141) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Krestinsky’s opinion that the Soviet Government would be willing to extend the 1935 agreement on basis of Soviet purchases at $30,000,000 provided United States would cease to discriminate against Soviet coal. Request for information relative to the coal tax situation.
326
June 15 (86) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Explanation, for transmittal to Soviet authorities, of the coal tax situation, based on provisions of the Revenue Act of 1932 and Treasury Decision 48146. Instructions to strive for extension of the agreement of 1935 on the basis of the original exchange of notes without becoming involved in a discussion of the question of removal of the tax on Soviet coal.
327
June 17 (148) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet memorandum (text printed) setting forth the amount of contemplated Soviet purchases in the United States for the coming year and proposing a modification of the basic agreement in the coming year in order to circumvent the taxation of Soviet coal.
330
June 24 (92) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Outline of the U. S. position, and instructions for presenting it to Neymann and Rosenblum in reply to the Soviet proposal (supra).
333
July 3 (161) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of discussions with Soviet officials; Soviet proposal for an exchange of notes (texts printed) accompanied by an informal written statement embodying the substance of previous oral comments concerning U. S. intentions to seek the ultimate removal of the import duty on Soviet coal; request for instructions as to the phraseology of the informal letter.
335
[Page LIII]July 7 (98) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Draft informal letter (text printed) as requested, and instructions that it should be considered as part of the discussions leading to the agreement, publication of it to be withheld pending receipt of authorization. List of minor changes desired in the draft exchange of notes.
339
July 9 (163) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Revised exchange of notes and supplementary letters (texts printed); request for a prepared statement to issue to the American journalists upon release of the exchange of notes.
340
July 10 (99) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Department’s preference that certain pertinent data be furnished to the American journalists for their own use instead of a prepared statement.
342
July 11 (165) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Krestinsky will sign the notes using his regular title inasmuch as no provision has been made for his designation as Acting Commissar in Litvinov’s absence.
343
(Editorial note: Citation to texts of the agreement and Department press release.) 344
July 17 (1721) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of memoranda summarizing various conversations which were held with Soviet officials in connection with the negotiations for renewal of the agreement.
344

Clarification of the Assignment of November 16, 1933, by Which Assets in the United States of Former Russian Governments Had Been Assigned to the United States by the Soviet Union

Date and number Subject Page
1936 May 1 (61) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Instructions to ascertain informally from the competent authorities, for the Department’s guidance in connection with suits instituted by the U. S. Government to recover assets assigned to it by the Soviet Government, the full scope of the Soviet confiscatory decrees upon which the assignment was based.
345
May 5 (63) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion with Troyanovsky of the possibility of bringing a Soviet legal expert to the United States to give testimony in connection with a U. S. suit to recover assets in the United States of the Moscow Fire Insurance Co.
(Footnote: Information that M. A. Plotkin came to the United States on two occasions during 1936–38 in the private capacity of a Soviet legal expert.)
346
July 21 From the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Information as to the scope of the assignment of November 16, 1933.
347
[Page LIV]Sept. 1 (124) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Soviet Ambassador has been requested to supplement his note of July 21 in view of specific question raised by the defendant in the Moscow Fire Insurance Co. case; instructions to ascertain, if possible, whether any law may be cited in this connection.
347
Sept. 8 (207) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Apparent absence of any law that may be cited; suggestion that Troyanovsky supplement his letter of July 21 in such phraseology as to leave no doubt regarding U. S. right to the assets in question.
348
Sept. 14 From the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Affirmation of the rights of the Soviet Union to assign to the U. S. Government the assets in question by virtue of the exchange of notes of November 16, 1933.
350
Sept. 16 (134) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
For Plotkin from Munroe: Enumeration of suggestions for obtaining proof of title of the Soviet Government in the Moscow Fire Insurance Co. case, and request for cooperation in gathering this data by September 24, inasmuch as the referee may dismiss the Government’s petition for failure of proof to title.
350
Sept. 22 (221) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of an interpretation by the People’s Commissariat for Justice and a statement of Plotkin’s opinion (texts printed) concerning certain suggestions set forth in telegram No. 134 of September 16; their reluctance, however, to incorporate these opinions in formal declarations in the absence of precedents.
351
1937 Jan. 9 (6) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
U. S.-Soviet exchange of notes, January 7 (texts printed), confirming understanding as to the assignment of November 16, 1933.
354
(Editorial note: Reference to further clarification of the assignment through subsequent correspondence.) 356

1937

Reports on Developments of Significance Concerning Soviet Relations With Other Countries, Especially With the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1936 Dec. 16 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with representatives of a number of large business firms who were interested in possibilities of further U. S.-Soviet negotiations concerning the debt Question.
357
1937 Jan. 19 (1) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations indicating the trend in Soviet policy to dismiss past controversial matters, including debt negotiations, and to concentrate on future relations.
358
[Page LV]Feb. 13 Memorandum by the Second Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union
Appraisal of the trial of Radek, Pyatakov, and others of the so-called “reserve center” group.
362
Feb. 18 (68) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Conversation with certain Soviet officials who brought up the question of settling the matter of debts and claims by a process of private negotiation through the Amtorg agency.
369
Feb. 19 (79) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Conversation with Litvinov, who expressed a pessimistic view on the pending neutrality legislation in the United States.
372
May 14 (293) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report on certain developments in the Soviet campaign of isolation; in particular, Soviet efforts to eliminate still further the various channels through which diplomatic Missions in Moscow have come into contact with Soviet life.
374
June 8 (105) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Account of events connected with the recent Red Army purge, and the Embassy’s interpretation as to their significance.
376
June 11 (113) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Announcement in Pravda (text printed) with respect to the hearing of the case against certain Red Army officials; information concerning the individuals accused.
378
June 13 (116) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of the Soviet internal situation resulting from the prolonged wave of dismissals and arrests which has pervaded every field of Soviet life.
380
June 13 (117) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Embassy’s opinions as to the downfall of the Red Army officials whose executions have been announced in the Soviet press; view that the accused were not guilty of the crimes attributed to them.
383
June 23 (131) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Concurrence of other Missions in the Embassy’s opinion that the Red Army officers were not guilty of the crimes to which they confessed; résumé of general opinions as to Soviet reasons for their execution.
385
July 10 (164) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conference with Litvinov, who spoke freely of his views on the present European situation.
386
Aug. 20 (506) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Observations concerning the friendly tone of Soviet press comments on the recent visit of American naval vessels to Vladivostok; report, however, of further incidents in the anti-foreign campaign.
388
Sept. 14 (553) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of a memorandum by the Military Attaché and three Soviet press articles regarding the recent visit of American naval vessels to Vladivostok.
(Footnote: Information that in time the good effects of this visit diminished, and that the proposed visit of American warships to Leningrad in 1939 was not considered desirable.)
390
[Page LVI]Sept. 20 (574) From the Chargé the Soviet Union
Further report on manifestations of the anti-foreign campaign.
391
Sept. 29 (597) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Difficulties experienced by American engineers in connection with the examination of their drawings and technical data by Soviet customs authorities prior to their departure from the Soviet Union.
394
Oct. 26 Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Discussion of the unfavorable international situation.
396
Oct. 27 (236) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Instructions to protest against the Soviet violation of written assurances concerning the rights of American nationals upon their departure from the Soviet Union.
397
Nov. 24 Memorandum by Mr. George F. Kennan of the Division of European Affairs
Analysis of certain aspects of the anti-foreign campaign and their effect upon the American Mission in Moscow.
398
Dec. 20 (332) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet press announcement of the sentencing and the execution of seven prominent Party or State officials.
400
Dec. 22 (829) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Observations concerning the recent electoral campaign and elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U. S. S. R.
401

Commercial Agreement Between the United States and the Soviet Union, Effected by Exchange of Notes Signed on August 4, 1937

Date and number Subject Page
1937 Undated (Rec’d Feb. 3) From the Soviet Embassy
Opinion that the exemption from duty on coal imported into the United States which is granted to the Netherlands should be extended to the Soviet Union.
405
May 15 (50) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador on May 12, who was assured of U.S. efforts toward removal of the discriminatory tax on Soviet coal.
406
June 23 (70) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Soviet Ambassador has been informed of U.S. willingness to include in the renewal of the U.S.-Soviet commercial agreement provisions similar to those in the U.S.-Netherlands agreement whereby coal imports are at present exempt from the tax in question; this modification, however, to be conditional upon written assurance that Soviet exports of coal to the United States during the 12-month period would not exceed 400,000 tons.
407
June 28 (137) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indication that Soviet written assurance regarding maximum coal imports would be forthcoming upon clarification of certain points as to form of agreement; request for full text of agreement which would be acceptable to the Department.
408
[Page LVII]July 1 (77) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Text of proposed commercial agreement to be embodied in an exchange of notes; instructions to press for a commitment of $40,000,000 as the minimum amount of Soviet purchases of American goods to be made during the term of the agreement.
409
July 2 (144) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Detailed discussion of the draft agreement with Litvinov.
411
July 6 (150) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Changes suggested by Foreign Office, including (1) the granting of most-favored-nation treatment on a bilateral basis, and (2) inclusion of a termination clause. Soviet inquiry also as to possibility of obtaining rebates on coal tax paid during past 2 years.
412
July 8 (85) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Acceptance of certain Soviet suggestions; opposition, however, to bilateral basis for most-favored-nation treatment and to inclusion of termination clause. Opinion that question of a rebate on coal tax is not pertinent to present negotiations.
414
July 9 (161) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet reluctance to yield on certain points; request for instructions as to limit of concessions Department would be prepared to make.
417
July 10 (162) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet position on certain minor points which appear to contain no real difficulties.
418
July 10 (163) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office explanation of its view as to the right of the Soviet Government to rebates on coal tax already paid.
419
July 10 (89) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions as requested in telegram No. 161, July 9; maintenance of position on basis for extension of most-favored-nation treatment and on necessity for Soviet restriction of exports of coal to United States.
420
July 10 (165) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office desire for the inclusion of an exportation clause similar to the one in the U. S.-Netherlands agreement.
421
July 11 (167) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Enumeration of points agreed to by the Foreign Office; Soviet refusal, however, to yield on question of unilateral most-favored-nation treatment or on raising guaranteed sum of Soviet purchases higher than $30,000,000.
421
July 12 (90) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Suggestions for certain changes in phraseology in the text of the agreement and supplementary notes.
422
July 12 (91) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to make every effort to persuade the Soviet Government to abandon its position on the two points set forth in telegram No. 167 of July 11; explanation of U. S. 1 omission of exportation clause in proposed agreement.
423
[Page LVIII]July 13 (170) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion that the Soviet Government does not intend to yield on the two points in question without some concession; outline of two possible proposals, and request for further instructions.
424
July 14 (171) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet acceptance of suggested changes in phraseology as set forth in Department’s telegram No. 90 of July 12.
426
July 14 (93) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to continue to press for a purchase figure as near $40,000,000 as possible; view that inclusion of a bilateral most-favored-nation clause is out of the question; further comments concerning exportation clause.
426
July 16 (176) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Belief that it is now possible to conclude an agreement, unilateral in character, with commitment of $40,000,000 purchases, but only if an exportation clause is included.
427
July 17 (102) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Belief that a draft exportation clause can be formulated in Washington which will be satisfactory to both sides; instructions to obtain certain information regarding Soviet views by July 19.
428
July 19 (177) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Indication that Department’s suggestion concerning an exportation clause will probably be acceptable to the Soviet Government.
429
July 19 (103) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Proposed exportation clause (text printed); instructions to report the proposed date of signature as soon as possible in order that arrangements may be made for simultaneous Proclamation by the President and release of press statement.
429
July 20 (180) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Willingness of the Foreign Office to conclude an agreement on the basis of Department’s proposal, subject to two further conditions, i. e., a reservation in connection with the purchase figure, and a sentence qualifying the exceptions to the exportation clause as proposed by the Department.
430
July 20 (104) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Rejection of the two Soviet conditions.
431
July 22 (183) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet insistence upon inclusion of the two points set forth in telegram No. 180 of July 20.
432
July 23 (108) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Department’s unaltered position regarding the exportation clause; willingness, however, to consider the reservation pertaining to the purchase figure upon certain conditions.
434
July 25 (190) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Explanation to Foreign Office officials of the U. S. position with respect to modification of the exportation clause; inconclusive discussion of other points.
435
[Page LIX]July 31 (202) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Agreement on all points at issue, and transmittal of full text of the proposed notes.
436
July 31 (204) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for information concerning the exact Washington time of announcement; Ambassador’s request for suggestions as to the method of handling the matter with American correspondents.
437
Aug. 1 (120) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Congratulations upon reaching a satisfactory agreement; instructions concerning minor changes in phraseology in texts of notes; suggestions for presenting data to American correspondents.
437
Aug. 4 (209) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Notification of exchange of notes on August 4, altered in accordance with instructions in telegram No. 120, August 1.
439
(Editorial note: Citation to text of arrangement and to Department press release.) 440

Difficulties From Soviet Authorities Interfering With the Proper Functioning of the American Embassy in Moscow

Date and number Subject Page
1937 Undated (Rec’d Feb. 9) Memorandum by the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Comments of a Soviet official concerning a Kremlin directive envisaging better relations between the Soviet Union and the United States; his suggestions for the benefit of the newly appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E. Davies.
440
May 14 (302) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Advice that wiring for a microphone has been discovered in the attic of the Embassy, as well as other traces of eavesdropping.
441
May 26 Memorandum, by Mr. Bertel E. Kuniholm of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Observations on the question of customs privileges for consular officers which should be considered if and when consulates are to be opened in the Soviet Union outside of the city of Moscow.
442
Aug. 10 (478) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Recent developments concerning the installation of a microphone in the Ambassador’s residence.
445
Nov. 24 Memorandum by Mr. George F. Kennan of the Division of European Affairs
Comments on Soviet policy of placing restrictions on the activities and contacts of foreign missions in Moscow, and of other irritating practices which create problems for the Embassy.
446
Nov. 30 (310) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet announcement of a new ruling with respect to the levying of export duties on the effects of departing foreign diplomats; request for Department’s views concerning a movement headed by the British and French for a joint protest to be presented by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
451
[Page LX]Dec. 4 (189) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations concerning the unorthodox character of the new Soviet ruling; instructions, however, to transmit the substance of any proposed joint protest before committing the Embassy in that connection.
453
Dec. 30 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador regarding certain difficulties experienced by the Embassy in Moscow, particularly the Embassy building program, customs inspection and export duty, and unreasonable rate of exchange for the ruble.
453
Dec. 30 (343) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Difficulties experienced by the Embassy in endeavoring to prevent the payment of export duty on the personal effects of a Public Health Service official who is about to leave the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Information that the Soviet customs authorities finally issued the export permit on January 5, 1938, for the effects in question.)
456

Efforts by Soviet Agencies To Purchase Warships, Naval Armament, and Other War Materials in the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1936 Nov. 24 From the Embassy of the Soviet Union
Desire for the Department’s cooperation in Soviet efforts to secure the Navy Department’s permission for certain American steel companies to negotiate sales of heavy armor for battleships, including technical specifications, to the Amtorg Trading Corp. (official Soviet purchasing agency).
457
Dec. 3 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Wolf, an officer of Carp Export and Import Corp., who requested a statement by the Department assuring the Corporation that its proposed transaction with respect to exportation of unassembled battleships to the U. S. S. R. would not be illegal or contrary to U. S. policy; explanation of U. S. position.
458
1937 Jan. 13 To the Carp Export and Import Corporation, New York, N. Y.
Information that there are no treaties or statutes, except provisions of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, which would constrain private naval architects or American manufacturing companies from participating in the transactions envisaged by the Corporation.
460
Jan. 13 To the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
U. S. nonobjection in principle to transactions outlined in Soviet Embassy’s memorandum of November 24, 1936.
460
Jan. 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Difficulties encountered by Mr. Wolf due to the reluctance of American companies to deal with him in the absence of more definite proof that U. S. Government would not disapprove of the proposed transactions.
461
[Page LXI]Feb. 25 (32) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of copies of various documents relating to recent activities of Soviet purchasing agencies in the United States with respect to the construction or purchase of battleships, submarines, and armor plate.
462
Mar. 9 To the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut
Receipt of information from the Navy Department that an agreement has been reached between that Department and the Electric Boat Co. as to a procedure by which the company could assist in the production of a submarine in the U. S. S. R. without disclosing to foreign interests any military secrets vital to the National Defense.
463
Mar. 23 From the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Request that arrangements be made whereby Soviet technicians may visit the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. plant where a plane is being constructed for the Soviet Union, and that the blueprints for the plane be delivered simultaneously with the plane.
464
Mar. 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs
Proposed letter to the Secretary of the Navy raising objection to two aspects of the proposed contract between the Carp Export and Import Corp. and the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., i. e., the construction of 16–inch guns and the utilization of U. S. Navy facilities in the testing of guns and armor plate.
465
Mar. 25 (146) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Information concerning activities of the Soviet Government in obtaining technical assistance from various American aircraft manufacturing companies.
466
Mar. 26 To the Secretary of the Navy
Objections to two aspects of the proposed contract between the Carp Export and Import Corp. and the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. as described in memorandum of March 24; belief that should these two features be removed by modification of the contract, no further objections would be raised.
467
Apr. 17 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Leonard, Washington representative of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., who recounted his difficulties in connection with the Navy Department.
469
Undated To the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Inability of the Navy Department to grant the two requests set forth in the Ambassador’s memorandum of March 23 due to the impracticability of the suggestions.
470
May 4 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Leonard, who expressed concern over the status of contract negotiations with the Carp Corporation.
471
[Page LXII]May 13 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Admiral Leahy, who indicated his understanding that the Bethlehem Corp. did not desire to enter into a contract with the Carp Corp.; his intention, upon learning that Bethlehem is still interested, to inform its representatives of his concurrence in the State Department’s views regarding the matter.
472
May 24 (322) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Information concerning efforts now being made by the Soviet Government to develop further its military air forces.
473
June 10 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with an official of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., who told of his company’s refusal to sell sample quantities of arms and munitions to the Carp Corp., since obviously the latter merely wished to copy du Pont’s trade secrets.
475
Aug. 19 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Explanation to an attorney for the Carp Corp. of U. S. Government’s position in connection with the Carp-Bethlehem negotiations; attorney’s request for a résumé of the situation for guidance in explaining the Department’s attitude to his clients.
475
Aug. 20 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Résumé of conversations between representatives of Carp and officials of the Navy and State Departments concerning the proposed contract between Bethlehem and Carp.
(Footnote: Memorandum prepared at the request of the Under Secretary of State and transmitted to the White House.)
476
Aug. 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Telephone conversation with Admiral Leahy concerning renewed efforts of Carp to negotiate a contract with Bethlehem; Admiral Leahy’s concurrence in Department’s view that the U. S. Government’s position is clear and that the difficulty lies in Bethlehem’s reluctance to enter into the contract.
478
Aug. 30 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Admiral Leahy on recent developments in the Carp efforts to make certain purchases in United States.
479
Sept. 22 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Further conversations with the Carp attorney regarding difficulties encountered by his company in its efforts to obtain contracts with various American firms.
480
Sept. 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Admiral Leahy, who reaffirmed the Navy Department’s concurrence in the State Department’s view concerning the proposed Carp transactions.
482
[Page LXIII]Sept. 29 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Joint call of Carp and Bethlehem representatives, who reported that the various misunderstandings between their companies had been cleared up; Carp’s decision, in this connection, to revise its plans for opening competitive bids to Bethlehem and two other companies for the proposed construction of the battleship.
484
Oct. 1 To the Carp Export and Import Corporation, New York, N. Y.
Acknowledgment of applications for license to export shipments of certain arms and equipment to the U.S.S.R.; information regarding specified safeguards in the interest of National Defense.
485
Oct. 11 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Carp representative, who was told of Department’s willingness to arrange a meeting to clear up any misunderstandings between Carp Corp. and the New York Shipbuilding Corp.
486
Oct. 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Carp representative, who related further difficulties with various American companies in connection with efforts to enter into contracts for the purchase of a battleship for the U.S.S.R.
487
Nov. 15 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control to the Secretary of State
Résumé of the Carp difficulties, indications that all technical obstacles appear to have been removed; information as to the reason for Carp’s apparent abandonment of the project.
488
Nov. 27 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who commented on the obstruction being made by a certain influence in the United States in respect to recent proposed purchases and construction of a battleship for the U. S. S. R.
489
Dec. 18 Memorandum by the Legal Adviser
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who was told, upon inquiry, of the reasons why the United States could not permit delivery of a war vessel to the U. S. S. R. if at the time of its completion the Soviet Union should be engaged in war.
489
Dec. 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Carp representative, who told of plans for a conference to be held in the office of Assistant Secretary of Navy Edison for discussion of the problem relating to certain obstructions.
490
1938 Jan. 4 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Information from Admiral Leahy that at the meeting in the Navy Department the U. S. Government’s position in regard to the proposed Carp transaction was explained in exactly the same terms in which it has previously been set forth repeatedly.
491
[Page LXIV]

Arrest and Detention of American Citizens by the Soviet Government in Contravention of the Undertaking of November 16, 1933

Date and number Subject Page
1937 Aug. 26 (510) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Embassy’s unsuccessful attempts to establish the whereabouts of George Sviridoff, allegedly imprisoned by the Soviet Government, and Foreign Office denial of any knowledge on the case.
491
Oct. 18 (268) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from the Foreign Office concerning the arrest and detention of Frank Hrinkevich on July 19. Advice that efforts will be made to have a member of the staff interview Hrinkevich on October 22.
493
Oct. 21 (274) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Oral refusal of the Foreign Office to grant an interview with Hrinkevich.
493
Oct. 23 (167) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to present immediately a written request for permission to interview Hrinkevich.
493
Oct. 29 (283) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Litvinov’s oral assurance of Soviet cooperation in connection with the Hrinkevich matter and similar cases.
494
Nov. 11 (291) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Developments in the Hrinkevich case, and advice that permission for immediate interview has been granted.
495
Nov. 16 (293) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of the interview with Hrinkevich, which was restricted in certain respects; information that Hrinkevich was held incommunicado for the first two months of his incarceration.
495
Nov. 26 (184) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to present written representations to the Foreign Office if Department’s understanding is correct that no information has yet been obtained as to the specific charges or the present status of the Hrinkevich case.
496
Nov. 30 (312) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that request has been made for information regarding the specific charges against Hrinkevich; indication of reasons, however, why inquiry as to the present status of the case may be inadvisable.
496
Dec. 3 (187) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions for representations in behalf of Hjalmar Nordeen, whose allegedly forced acceptance of Soviet citizenship complicates his efforts to leave the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Résumé of developments in the Nordeen case.)
497
Dec. 9 (317) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Embassy’s unsuccessful efforts to establish the whereabouts of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Robinson who “mysteriously” disappeared from their hotel near the American Embassy in Moscow.
497
[Page LXV]Dec. 11 Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Memorandum handed to the Ambassador containing information on the disappearance of the Robinsons; reference to other disagreeable experiences of U. S. Government and its nationals; Ambassador’s assurance of cooperation in full development of the Robinson case.
498
Dec. 11 (320) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further fruitless efforts of the Embassy to establish facts in the Robinson case; intention to raise certain points with Litvinov on December 14 if information thus far requested is not forthcoming by that date.
500
Dec. 15 (326) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Interview with Litvinov during which emphasis was laid on the points set forth in telegram No. 320 of December 11; Litvinov’s lukewarm promise to look into the matter personally.
502
Dec. 27 (340) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that no reply has been received from the Foreign Office regarding the specific charges under which Hrinkevich was arrested, but that other information indicates the Soviet Government’s intention to order his deportation.
503

1938

Reports on Developments of Significance Concerning Soviet Relations With Other Countries, Especially With the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1938 Jan. 3 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State to the Secretary of State
Observations concerning the importance of the Soviet Union as a factor in the world situation; recommendation, in this connection, that a special representative be sent to Moscow for an interview with Stalin and his associates.
504
Jan. 13 (7) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Soviet Government has requested various Governments to close their Consulates in Leningrad.
505
Jan. 13 (867) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report of the forced departure of certain American citizens from the Soviet Union; opinion that these cases are indicative of the policy being adopted to eliminate foreign residents who have not proved to be useful in the economic or social structure of the Soviet Union.
506
Jan. 20 (19) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party regarding the mistakes of the Party organization in excluding members from the Party; possibility that the resolution will mark the end of the recent Party purge.
508
Undated (Rec’d Feb. 19) Memorandum by the Second Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union
Observations on the First Session of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., January 12–19, and indications as to the future functioning of the Soviet Government under the new Constitution.
509
[Page LXVI]Feb. 18 (963) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report of deterioration of Soviet relations with the major European and Near Eastern countries, and résumé of certain aspects of Soviet foreign policy in the past to substantiate this observation.
514
Feb. 18 (966) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of several memoranda setting forth the opinions of various Military Attachés in Moscow regarding the unfavorable effects which the purge and establishment of political commissars have had upon the efficiency of the Red Army.
519
Feb. 19 (971) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Translations of a letter by a member of the Komsomol to Stalin and Stalin’s reply (texts printed) regarding the question of the victory of socialism in the Soviet Union; opinions of the Embassy and of foreign observers concerning the significance of Stalin’s reply.
520
Mar. 2 (56) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Appraisal of the trial of the so-called Trotskiist bloc consisting of 21 defendants.
527
Mar. 4 (1007) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Interview on March 3 with Litvinov, who expressed concern over Troyanovsky’s reports that the Department is dissatisfied with the treatment accorded the American Mission in Moscow by the Soviet Government. Litvinov’s views on the international situation.
529
Mar. 13 (67) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
For the President and the Secretary of State: Information regarding the imprisonment and death sentences imposed upon the Trotskiist bloc of defendants; résumé of opinions of the diplomats who attended the trial.
532
Undated (Rec’d Apr. 4) Memorandum by the Ambassador in the Soviet Union of a Conversation With the Soviet People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, March 14, 1938
Litvinov’s observations concerning the recent incorporation of Austria into the German Reich and its effect upon the European situation. Unofficial representations to Litvinov with respect to three situations considered by the Embassy to be prejudicial to the interests of American citizens in the Soviet Union.
533
Mar. 15 (1031) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations on certain factors indicating a tendency of the Soviet Union to slow down the tempo of its industrial development.
536
Mar. 17 From the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Litvinov’s statement to the press, March 17 (text printed), of the Soviet Government’s position regarding the outstanding problems of international relations, and its readiness to participate in collective action with other countries to prevent further aggression.
539
Mar. 23 Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State of a Conversation With the French Ambassador
French inquiry as to whether United States had been notified of a Soviet suggestion for a world conference, and whether United States would be inclined to participate. Explanation of U. S. position.
541
[Page LXVII]Apr. 1 (1104) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Résumé of the present status of Soviet relations with other countries; observations concerning internal political conditions, Soviet tendency toward isolation from world affairs, and present Soviet attitude toward the United States.
542
(Editorial note: Reference to correspondence on question of reopening debt negotiations.) 551
June 6 (143) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Farewell interview with President Kalinin and Premier Molotov, during which Stalin came in for a surprise visit lasting 2 hours; request for permission to proceed immediately to Washington to report orally to the President and the Secretary on certain phases of the discussions.
(Footnote: Information that Ambassador Davies left the Soviet Union on June 10 and reached Washington on June 23.)
551
June 6 (1341) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
General review of the internal Soviet situation, and observations regarding the possible significances of the U.S.S.R. in world relations and to the United States.
552
June 6 (1342) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Supplementary report on matters still pending between the Soviet Union and the United States, and recommendations as to the general policy which should be adopted in the interest of the U. S. Government.
(Footnote: Information that Mr. Davies had been appointed American Ambassador to Belgium, May 14.)
559
June 7 Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Ambassador’s enthusiasm over Stalin’s visit with U.S. Ambassador Davies in Moscow.
566
June 9 (1348) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Detailed report, supplementary to telegram No. 143 of June 6, regarding all aspects of the Ambassador’s farewell interview at the Kremlin; subsequent discussions with Molotov of a proposal made by Stalin at the interview in regard to the question of reopening debt negotiations.
567
June 18 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Courtesy call of the Soviet Ambassador upon departing for vacation in the Soviet Union.
583
June 22 (160) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet press publication of a speech made by Kalinin in Leningrad on June 20; excerpt of his remarks with respect to the United States.
583
June 22 (161) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Denial by a German Embassy official of any knowledge, as reported by an American press correspondent, of German intentions to approach the Soviet Union with a view toward improvement of Soviet-German relations.
584
[Page LXVIII]July 2 Memorandum by the First Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union
Farewell interview with Litvinov upon departure for assignment to the State Department; correction of Litvinov’s impressions regarding certain attitudes of the Department of State personnel.
585
July 3 (175) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of a speech delivered by Kalinin on June 19 at a shipbuilding plant in Leningrad.
586
July 9 (1460) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of translation of a speech made by Litvinov in Leningrad on June 23 regarding the international situation and Soviet foreign policy; observations with respect to certain points.
587
Sept. 13 (1643) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Advice that the Embassy has been able to obtain only a small part of certain data desired by the Department concerning invisible items in the balance of payments between the United States and the U.S.S.R.
(Footnote: Failure of Soviet authorities to supply any additional data despite repeated efforts to obtain it.)
589
Oct. 20 Memorandum by Mr. Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs
Résumé of difficulties experienced in the past by American citizens on various cruise ships in attempting to land in Leningrad.
590
Oct. 31 (374) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations concerning Soviet foreign policy since the Munich Agreement.
591
Nov. 25 (1886) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of editorials printed in Izvestiya and Krasnaya-Zvezda on November 16 entitled “The Two Giants” and “Soviet-American Relations”; observations as to the significance of these editorials.
592
1939 Jan. 17 From the Ambassador in Belgium
Report on subsequent developments in the question of debt negotiations and the question of a U. S.-Soviet liaison for the interchange of military information, initially touched upon in discussions with Stalin and Molotov prior to the Ambassador’s departure from the Soviet Union.
594
[Page LXIX]

Trade Relations Between the United States and the Soviet Union; Renewal of Commercial Agreement by Exchange of Notes Signed on August 5, 1938

Date and number Subject Page
1938 May 11 Memorandum by Mr. George F. Kennan of the Division of European Affairs
Résumé of circumstances with respect to the customs treatment of Soviet coal entering United States which may jeopardize the prospect of obtaining renewal of the commercial agreement with the Soviet Union on terms satisfactory to the United States; comments as to methods for remedying the situation.
601
June 9 (85) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to ascertain informally the Soviet attitude toward negotiation of a renewal of the present U. S.-Soviet commercial agreement with an appropriate upward adjustment of the Soviet guaranteed total purchases.
605
June 14 (152) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet promise to indicate preliminary views on renewal of commercial agreement after a study of the matter by officials; request for certain data relative to Soviet trade for the Embassy’s guidance in future conversations.
605
June 24 (94) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Data requested in telegram No. 152 of June 14. Department’s reasons for insisting upon increased guaranteed purchases.
606
July 8 (179) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Apparent reasons for Soviet delay in submitting a reply to the Embassy concerning renewal of the commercial arrangement.
607
July 25 (201) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Litvinov, who was reminded that the present U.S.-Soviet commercial agreement will expire in about 10 days; opinion that the Foreign Office is considering the possibility of requesting the extension of the present agreement for one or two months pending negotiation of a new agreement.
608
July 28 (116) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to inform Litvinov that, for the purposes which the Soviet Government apparently has in mind, a renewal of the present agreement for a brief period would be out of the question; further, that the basis for Soviet coal tax exemption would be destroyed should the agreement lapse.
608
July 29 (207) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations concerning continued delay in Soviet reply.
609
July 30 (209) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Notification from Foreign Office that conversations on renewal of commercial agreement will begin on July 31; request for Department’s views as to whether the present agreement should be regarded as having lapsed in the event that no agreement is signed by August 4.
610
July 30 (118) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the present agreement will lapse if no agreement is signed and effective by August 5.
611
July 31 (211) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Detailed report on discussions at the Foreign Office, July 31, and position taken on the points under consideration.
611
[Page LXX]Aug. 2 (120) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of Chargé’s position in the discussions, and instructions with respect to phrasing of text of exchange of notes and supplementary documents.
614
Aug. 3 (222) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet willingness to renew the agreement on the same basis as the current accord but reluctance to guarantee further increased purchases; request for Department’s final views on the point in question.
616
Aug. 4 (124) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to continue to press for further increase in purchases, but if impossible to obtain agreement on this point, to effect an exchange of notes renewing the present agreement.
617
Aug. 5 (232) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Signature of exchange of notes on August 5 without further guarantee of increased Soviet purchases.
618
(Editorial note: Citation to text of arrangement and to Department press release.) 620
Aug. 6 (127) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Transmittal of pertinent data for the use of American journalists in Moscow.
620
Aug. 6 (1532) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Résumé of negotiations leading to signature of documents, and suggestions for consideration in future negotiations for commercial agreements with the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Excerpt from memorandum of September 12 by Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs, indicating divergent views on these suggestions.)
621

Difficulties From Soviet Authorities Interfering With the Proper Functioning of the American Embassy in Moscow

Date and number Subject Page
1938 Jan. 13 Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Memorandum (text printed) read to the Soviet Ambassador, enumerating the irritating Soviet practices which adversely affect the operation of the Embassy in Moscow and U.S.-Soviet relations in general.
(Footnote: Information that this memorandum was handed to the Soviet Ambassador on January 24 by Assistant Secretary of State Messersmith.)
624
Jan. 13 Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador concerning the difficulties of U.S. diplomatic officers in Moscow in connection with the exportation of their personal effects when leaving the Soviet Union and other difficulties encountered by Americans in entering the Soviet Union after having obtained apparently proper visas.
627
[Page LXXI]Jan. 15 (16) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to report certain data with respect to inspection of personal effects not accompanying departing foreign diplomats as baggage, and the levying of export duties thereon.
629
Jan. 21 (24) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Data as requested in Department’s telegram No. 16, January 15.
630
Jan. 24 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Comments in reply to the Soviet Ambassador’s inquiry regarding U.S. plans for using the ground in Moscow allotted for the construction of a new Embassy building.
631
Feb. 18 (958) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report on conversations with Mr. Weinberg of the Foreign Office concerning the Department’s recent discussions with the Soviet Ambassador of certain problems in U.S.-Soviet relations; opinion that little can be accomplished at present to remove the difficulties enumerated.
633
Feb. 19 (969) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Disappearance of Roman L. Biske, a Soviet employee of the Embassy, and Embassy’s efforts to obtain information from the Foreign Office as to the reason for his arrest. Suggestion regarding the possible replacement of some of the Soviet employees with American citizens.
635
Feb. 21 (976) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Comments on treatment accorded to members of the Embassy at Moscow by the Soviet customs authorities, and recommendations as to the attitude to be assumed by the U.S. Government and the Embassy.
638
Mar. 26 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who denied most of the complaints set forth in the memorandum, handed him January 24.
642
Mar. 28 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Comments concerning the ineffectiveness of past conversations relative to difficulties encountered by the Embassy in Moscow; opinion that the whole matter be reviewed with the Soviet Ambassador.
643
Mar. 28 (89) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of a proposal, circulated to the Chiefs of Mission by the Acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, for joint action to register protest against the treatment accorded to members of the Corps by Soviet customs authorities.
644
Apr. 16 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador regarding the difficulties experienced by the Embassy in Moscow; Ambassador’s intention to present a memorandum in reply to the informal aide-mémoire handed him on January 24.
645
Undated (Rec’d Apr. 28) From the Embassy of the Soviet Union
Reply, point by point, to questions raised with respect to the unsatisfactory status of U. S.-Soviet relations.
647
Apr. 29 (63) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Authorization, in the Ambassador’s discretion, to participate in the joint action outlined in telegram No. 89, March 28.
655
[Page LXXII]Apr. 30 (1233) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Decision of the Acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to drop the matter of a joint protest in view of the hesitancy of some Missions to endorse the proposed demarche.
655
May 12 (1281) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Receipt of long-awaited statement from the Foreign Office regarding the Embassy’s annual quota of duties and amount of excess duties recorded by the Soviet customs officials in the “special book of registration.”
(Footnote: Explanation of the book referred to.)
656
July 19 Memorandum by Messrs. George F. Kennan and Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs
Comments as to certain unsatisfactory statements in the memorandum of oral conversation left by the Soviet Ambassador on April 28.
657
Aug. 31 (1613) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of data concerning the disappearance or questioning of certain persons after calling at the American Embassy; observations regarding the tactics of the secret police in this respect.
660
Sept. 10 (1639) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Receipt of information as to the possible presence of “informers” in the Embassy’s present Soviet staff; advice that every precaution is taken in this connection.
663
Nov. 2 (375) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Increasing difficulties of the Embassy in obtaining duty-free entry of shipments since September 20, due to revision of the Soviet customs regulations; request for certain information in order to ascertain whether the argument of reciprocity might prove useful.
664
Dec. 2 (171) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to address a note (text printed) to the Foreign Office setting forth U. S. views relative to duty-free shipments of supplies for official use of the Embassy.
665
Dec. 5 (413) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Suggestion of an additional paragraph (text printed) to be included in the note to the Foreign Office.
667
Dec. 6 (1893a) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of a list of the Embassy’s unanswered notes at the Foreign Office at the close of business on November 24 as indicative of the delays and difficulties experienced by the Embassy in obtaining responses to its representations to the Foreign Office.
668
Dec. 9 (175) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Approval of additional paragraph to be incorporated in the note as set forth in telegram No. 171 of December 2; further suggestions for oral presentation of the U.S. Government’s views in the matter.
(Footnote: Information that the note was presented on December 14; subsequent development of procedure for handling the shipments in question.)
669
[Page LXXIII]

Efforts by Soviet Agencies To Purchase Warships, Naval Armament, and Other War Materials in the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1938 Jan. 10 and 11 Memoranda by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Inquiry of Ferris, representative of Carp Export and Import Corp., regarding preliminary plans for a battleship which Mr. Francis Gibbs, naval architect, has offered to sell to Carp. Subsequent conversation with Admiral Leahy.
670
Jan. 18 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with the vice president of the Electric Boat Co., who told of his company’s refusal to enter into contract with Carp for the sale of submarines for the U.S.S.R.
671
Feb. 23 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with David Rosoff, Director of Amtorg, who, professing no direct connection with Carp, inquired as to the reasons and possible remedy for Carp’s inability to close contracts with American shipbuilders. Suggestions to Rosoff in this connection.
672
Feb. 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Ferris, who related details of a conference between officials of Carp and Amtorg envisaging methods of persuading American companies to enter into contracts for the battleship construction; suggestion for eliminating the indirect methods used by Carp in handling the whole matter of contracts to date.
673
Feb. 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Further difficulties of Carp, related by Ferris, in efforts to overcome alleged opposition in the Navy Department and Gibbs’ reluctance in this connection to submit his plans to the Navy Department for inspection.
675
Mar. 1 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Résumé of conversations with Ferris regarding Green’s personal suggestion that representatives of all the interested companies convene with officials of the State and Navy Departments to iron out the difficulties existing between them; Carp’s desire, however, to delay the conference pending his return from discussions in Moscow.
677
Mar. 26 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador concerning the difficulties involved in the proposed battleship purchase.
678
Mar. 28 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversations with Navy officials in connection with the question of disposition of Gibbs’ preliminary plans for battleship construction.
679
Apr. 8.and 9 Memoranda by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Gibbs, who explained his negotiations with Carp and described his conversations with President Roosevelt and Navy officials regarding details of his plans; subsequent conversation with Admiral Leahy, who expressed belief that Gibbs now intends to submit the plans for inspection.
680
[Page LXXIV]Apr. 12 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Rosoff, of Amtorg, and the Soviet Ambassador, who were pleased over recent progress in connection with the proposed battleship transaction.
683
Apr. 27 To President Roosevelt
Department’s view on the question of limitation of size and armament of capital ships now being discussed in informal negotiations in London; Recommendation that the U. S. Government urge limitation of ships to 45,000 tons with 16-inch guns and that this policy be applied in connection with the proposed construction of a battleship for the U. S. S. R.
(Footnote: President’s decision, concurred in by the Navy Department to agree to a 45,000-ton limitation.)
683
Apr. 27 To E. W. Bliss Company, Brooklyn, New York
Reply to an inquiry of April 21 that Bliss Company’s proposal to supply the U. S. S. R. with a complete plant for the manufacture of small arms ammunition would appear not to contravene any existing treaty or statute provided that no military secrets of interest to the national defense are involved.
685
May 18 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Soviet Ambassador’s request for up-to-date facts on the proposed battleship purchase; discussion of the matter of size of the vessel.
686
May 18 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador concerning the relationship of the size of the proposed battleship for the U.S.S.R. to U.S. treaty obligations.
687
May 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Inquiry by the Soviet Ambassador as to the nature of the reply which will be made to Gibbs concerning his plans; explanation, that the Soviet Union will have to obtain the contents of the reply from Gibbs.
689
May 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Résumé of discussions between officials of the Navy and State Departments on matters of policy which have arisen in connection with formulation of a reply to Gibbs; decision to send a joint letter to the President setting forth the questions at issue and requesting definite decisions.
689
June 1 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who was told upon inquiry that the matter of a reply to Gibbs was still under consideration.
693
June 8 From the Secretary of State and the Acting Secretary of the Navy to President Roosevelt
Joint letter requesting the President’s decisions in regard to certain questions of policy involved in the proposed reply to Gibbs and information to be given to the Soviet Ambassador in this connection.
694
(Editorial note: Reference to a memorandum by Ambassador Davies regarding his discussion of battleship construction with Stalin.) 699
[Page LXXV]June 17 To the Vice President of Gibbs and Cox, Inc.
Reply to specific questions previously submitted by Gibbs concerning his plans for construction of a battleship for the U.S.S.R.
699
June 17 To the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Advice that Gibbs has been informed that a battleship could not be constructed in this country according to his plans, as they do not conform to U. S. treaty limitations; that United States would not object, however, to his selling the plans to Carp.
701
June 20 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Courtesy call of the Soviet Ambassador, who expressed satisfaction as to the tenor of the note of June 17.
702
June 24 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Telephone conversation with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who told of Gibbs’ satisfaction with the reply addressed to him on June 17 and of his intention to proceed with new plans for a battleship and arrangements for its construction.
702
Sept. 7 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Leonard, of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., concerning specific questions raised by the latter as to U. S. attitude toward the proposed battleship construction for the U. S. S. R.
703
Oct. 4 To the Carp Export and Import Corporation, New York, N. Y.
Request for return of the originals of arms export licenses which were issued on September 30, 1937, and have now expired.
(Footnote: Department’s explanation to the Carp attorney on October 1 that this action was merely a routine procedure.)
704
Nov. 4 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Suggestions to the president of the Seversky Aircraft Corp. as to the best procedure to follow in submitting for inspection plans for a new type of plane for the U. S. S. R. and in obtaining a license to export the planes.
705
Nov. 15 (164) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that C. S. Joyce, representative of Gibbs and Cox, Inc., is now en route to Moscow to explain to the appropriate Soviet authorities the plans for construction of a battleship; that revised plans, in accordance with treaty limitations, are now in preparation.
706
Dec. 17 (428) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Gibbs plans were not acceptable to the Soviet Union, but that further conversations will be held in United States; Joyce’s opinion that the Soviet Government’s chief interest in purchasing the battleship is in order to obtain a model for 16-inch guns.
707
[Page LXXVI]

Arrest and Detention of American Citizens by the Soviet Government in Contravention of the Undertaking of November 16, 1933

Date and number Subject Page
1938 Jan. 3 (1) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information connected with the case of Donald Louis Robinson and Ruth Norma Robinson; instructions to examine certain photographs, which are being sent from London, with a view to establishing identity of the Robinsons and determining possibility of fraudulence in connection with the passports of Adolph Arnold Rubens and Ruth Marie Rubens.
(Footnote: Information that the photographs were recognized in Moscow as being those of Mr. and Mrs. Rubens (Robinson).
708
Jan. 5 (9) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to inform the Foreign Office in the matter of identification of Mrs. Robinson as Mrs. Rubens, and to request information of her whereabouts and any charges against her; to endeavor to ascertain the activities of Mr. and Mrs. Rubens (Robinson) and the reasons for concealment of their identity.
(Footnote: Chargé’s written request presented to Foreign Office on January 7.)
709
Jan. 11 (12) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to use own judgment in the matter of arranging for Hrinkevich’s deportation without prejudicing the possibility of his family’s exit from the Soviet Union.
710
Jan. 17 (10) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet delays in making formal reply to Embassy’s written request for information regarding Mrs. Rubens.
710
Jan. 18 (18) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to request that an Embassy official be allowed to interview Mrs. Rubens at once; questions to be covered in the interview and certain points in Soviet law which the Department desires clarified.
711
Jan. 19 (18) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Presentation of written request for an interview with Mrs. Rubens; information as requested regarding Soviet law.
712
Jan. 21 (25) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of Foreign Office message that the Embassy’s request for an interview with Mrs. Rubens could not be granted until investigations regarding her had been completed (this procedure being the Soviet interpretation of the Litvinov promise of November 16, 1933).
714
Jan. 24 (20) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to address a note to Litvinov (substance printed) regarding U.S. inability to accept the Soviet interpretation of the Litvinov promise.
715
Jan. 26 (28) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the note has been delivered; indications of Soviet established practice to refuse interviews between foreign nationals and representatives of their Governments until investigations have been completed.
716
Feb. 9 (38) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office note, February 9 (text printed), setting forth Soviet exception to the rule in granting interview with Mrs. Rubens on February 10; information that no formal charge has been made against Mrs. Rubens pending conclusion of investigations.
717
[Page LXXVII]Feb. 11 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Highlights of the interview between Mrs. Rubens and members of the American Embassy staff in Moscow.
718
May 11 (1270) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Further unsuccessful efforts of the Embassy to obtain information on the Sviridoff case; opinion that the difficulty is due in part to lack of cooperation between Commissariats in transmitting requested information.
719
(Editorial note: Reference to despatch by Ambassador Davies wherein he described various problems still awaiting settlement at the end of his term in the Soviet Union.) 720
July 6 (178) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Hrinkevich’s wife and son have been granted permission to renounce Soviet citizenship and depart from the Soviet Union; inquiry as to availability of transportation funds for the Hrinkevich family in view of importance of the case to the Embassy from the standpoint of precedence.
720
Aug. 3 (121) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Authorization for certain arrangements regarding Hrinkevich’s deportation, but advice that no funds are available for repatriation of the Hrinkevich family.
(Footnote: Information that the necessary amount was loaned by the American Embassy Committee for the Relief of Indigent American Citizens.)
721
Aug. 6 (1528) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Opinion that it is doubtful whether Embassy will be able to obtain information from official sources on the case of William Provenick, owing to his apparent dual nationality status and to lack of cooperation between the Commissariats concerning such cases.
721
Aug. 17 (1565) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Résumé of facts to date in the case of Hjalmar Nordeen; advice that the case is being brought up periodically with similar cases.
(Footnote: Death of Nordeen on October 25, 1938, in one of the northern regions of the Soviet Union.)
722
(Editorial note: Reference to despatch describing disappearance of Elmer J. Nousiainen; also Soviet questioning of other persons after leaving the American Embassy in Moscow.) 723
Nov. 14 (388) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that appropriate inquiry is being made as to specific charges against Arthur J. Kujala, his whereabouts, and earliest date on which he may be interviewed by an Embassy official.
723
Nov. 22 Memorandum by Mr. Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs
Résumé of the Hrinkevich case; opinion that the Embassy in Moscow should be commended for the successful conclusion of the case and for its continued efforts toward protection of American citizens.
724
(Editorial note: Reference to a despatch by A. I. Ward transmitting a précis of 18 cases of American citizens of dual nationality believed or known to be under arrest in the Soviet Union.) 725
[Page LXXVIII]

Arrest in the United States of a Soviet Citizen Charged With Violation of the Espionage Laws

Date and number Subject Page
1938 Dec. 13 (177) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information regarding the arrest by the F. B. I. of M. N. Gorin, a Soviet citizen, Chief of the Intourist Office in Los Angeles; complaint of Soviet Chargé d’Affaires concerning the matter.
726
Dec. 14 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Chargé concerning arrangements for an interview between Soviet Vice Counsul of New York and Gorin; subsequent conversation with F. B. I. official in this connection.
727
Dec. 16 (180) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of developments in the Gorin case.
729
Dec. 19 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Observations of the Soviet Chargé as to the publicity given to the Gorin case, and his assurance that the Soviet Government would not condone inimical actions of its nationals against the United States.
730

1939

Reports on Developments of Significance Concerning Soviet Relations With Other Countries, Especially With the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Jan. 19 (2028) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report on editorials which appeared recently in the Journal de Moscou regarding the Soviet attitude toward alleged German designs in the Ukraine; opinion as to reason for silence of the Russian language press in this connection.
731
Jan. 30 (2058) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Résumé of articles and editorials describing the life, theories, and aspirations of Lenin, and the achievements of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin, published in the Soviet press on fifteenth anniversary of Lenin’s death.
732
Jan. 31 (45) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Outline of the third five-year plan for the development of the national economy of the U. S. S. R. which will be presented by Molotov at the Eighteenth Party Congress.
(Footnote: Adoption of the plan by the Congress during its sessions in Moscow, March 10–21.)
735
Feb. 22 (84) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations on rumors of Litvinov’s withdrawal from the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs in the near future.
737
Mar. 4 (93) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Pravda editorial, March 4, praising the growth and activities of the Communist International on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary.
738
Mar. 11 (99) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of the section on foreign affairs of Stalin’s speech at the opening of the Party Congress on March 10.
739
[Page LXXIX]Mar. 13 (101) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of Manuilsky’s report to the Party Congress on the work of the Comintern.
742
Mar. 14 (105) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Pravda editorial of March 13 which praised Stalin’s analysis of the international situation.
744
Mar. 16 (111) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of Voroshilov’s speech delivered on March 13 to the Party Congress tracing the growth and development of the Red Army during the past 5 years.
745
Mar. 21 (132) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office communiqué (text printed) refuting foreign press rumors that the Soviet Government had recently offered its assistance to Poland and Rumania in the event that they should become victims of aggression.
746
Mar. 30 (2213) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Comments on certain aspects of Staling speech of March 10 regarding the international situation and Soviet foreign relations.
747
Apr. 6 (169) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations on various factors in the international situation which have brought about a change in the Soviet position of quasi-isolation, particularly with respect to Germany, and have caused Stalin to exercise extreme caution in his relations with all countries.
750
Apr. 12 (2249) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Comments on the removal and rumored arrest of N. I. Ezhov; opinion that it may indicate the end of the Soviet purge, but that the Kremlin’s strict control through the secret police has not been modified in the least.
753
Apr. 18 (287) From the Ambassador in Belgium
For the President and Secretary of State: Paraphrase of a telegram sent easlier by Davies, offering to make a trip to Moscow to consult unofficially with high Soviet officials in the interest of concluding a British-French-Soviet nonaggression pact; later reversal of his opinion as to the advisability of such action; request for Department’s views in the matter.
(Footnote: Information that Department stated in telegram No. 18 of April 18 its reasons for deciding against Davies’ original suggestion.)
756
May 4 (216) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office communiqué announcing Litvinov’s removal “at his own request” as Commissar for Foreign Affairs and his replacement by Molotov, who will continue as Chairman of the Soviet of People’s Commissars.
757
May 4 (218) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of various conjectures regarding the significance of Litvinov’s removal; general opinion, however, that the action portends a major change in Soviet foreign policy.
758
May 10 (317) From the Ambassador in Belgium
Report on the effect of the announcement of Litvinov’s “resignation” upon the Diplomatic Corps.
760
[Page LXXX]May 10 (2312) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Transmittal of a memorandum setting forth data regarding the self-sufficiency and export capacity of the Soviet Union with respect to 25 strategic raw materials; observations on these statistics.
762
June 1 (282) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Outline of a speech on foreign affairs made by Molotov, and full summary of section on Soviet relations with other countries.
764
June 2 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Comments of the newly appointed Soviet Ambassador on the unaltered Soviet position concerning the proposed British-French-Soviet front, and his opinion that Germany and Italy acting jointly might soon precipitate a crisis in Europe.
769
June 7 (2383) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Synopsis of comparative figures for the last two censuses of the population of the 11 constituent republics of the U.S.S.R. and of the 10 largest cities.
769
July 6 (2449) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Extensive personnel changes in the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs since Molotov’s appointment; comments concerning these sweeping changes.
770
July 22 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Enumeration of certain factors believed to be the guiding principles of Soviet foreign policy, and comments on the effect of recent international events upon the application of these principles.
773
Aug. 16 (16) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Steinhardt’s observations on the future role of the Soviet Union in international politics as reflected in interviews with Molotov and President Kalinin upon presentation of credentials, August 11.
775
Sept. 9 (523) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Evidences of an extensive secret mobilization being conducted in the Soviet Union.
779
Sept. 10 (525) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Translation of a Tass communiqué (text printed) appearing in the press under the title of “The Partial Calling up of Reserves to the Red Army”, which reveals little as to the purpose of the mobilization.
780
Sept. 15 (546) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Soviet military preparations are continuing and that anti-aircraft batteries have been mounted in and around Moscow; opinion that any contemplated action in connection with the Polish-German conflict will await the collapse of the Polish State.
781
Sept. 16 (547) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Report of large troop movements to the Leningrad area and flow of heavy artillery from the outskirts of Moscow toward the northwest and west.
781
[Page LXXXI]Sept. 17 (551) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of a Foreign Office note enclosing copy of a note to the Polish Ambassador (texts printed), wherein the Soviet Government outlines its intention to send its forces into Western Ukraine and Western White Russia, in view of the collapse of the Polish Government, and declares an attitude of neutrality toward the United States.
782
Sept. 22 (81) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Information (in reply to previous inquiry as to contract requirements of the Soviet Government concerning purchases from foreign nationals) that all Soviet purchases of foreign merchandise and services are effected through specially authorized Soviet organizations, and that orders are often placed for political purposes.
783
Oct. 18 (768) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Potemkin, who informally brought up certain annoying matters recently reported by the Soviet Embassy in Washington, such as the activities of the Dies Committee and attendant publicity.
784
Oct. 28 (826) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of two declarations of the National Assembly of Western Ukraine (“elected” on October 22) concerning establishment of a Soviet regime in Western Ukraine and the admission of Western Ukraine into the Soviet Union.
(Footnote: Information that similar resolutions were adopted by the Soviet of White Russia on October 30.)
785
Nov. 1 (846) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Translation (text printed) of that portion of Molotov’s speech on foreign affairs, October 31, concerning current Soviet-Finnish negotiations; observations in this connection.
785
Nov. 1 (847) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Molotov’s speech to the Supreme Soviet, October 31, concerning the general international situation.
786
Nov. 2 (850) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that at the evening session of the Supreme Soviet, November 2, White Russia will be incorporated into the Soviet Union as a part of the Ukrainian S. S. R.
790
Nov. 4 (228) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that no message of felicitation will be sent direct by the President on November 7, the Soviet national holiday.
(Footnote: Indication of reasons for this decision.)
790
Nov. 9 (143) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Observations on the present internal economic situation in the Soviet Union; opinion, in this connection, that the Kremlin will proceed with extreme caution in the execution of its present foreign policy.
791
Nov. 14 (897) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations of the Counselor of the British Embassy regarding decision of the British and French Governments not to break off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Government, notwithstanding its recent unfriendly conduct.
793
[Page LXXXII]Nov. 17 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Courtesy call of the Soviet Ambassador (upon his return from Europe), during which he commented on the “change” in U. S. public opinion and the rapidity with which the neutrality legislation had been revised.
794
Nov. 22 Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who complained of the antagonistic attitude of the American press toward the Soviet Government and himself.
796
Nov. 30 (965) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that Molotov delivered a brief radio address concerning rupture of relations with Finland; that Molotov denied, however, any Soviet intention to seize Finnish territory.
797
Nov. 30 (976) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further comments on Molotov’s radio address relative to Finland.
798
Nov. 30 (255) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Message for the Foreign Office from President Roosevelt (text printed) urging public declaration of intention to refrain from air bombardment of civilian populations and unfortified cities in the present crisis.
(Footnote: The same telegram to the Minister in Finland.)
798
Dec. 1 (259) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
President’s press statement, December 1 (text printed), condemning Soviet aggression against Finland.
(Footnote: Information that the same message was sent, December 1, to the American Legation in Sweden for repetition to the Legation in Finland.)
799
Dec. 3 (302) From the Consul General at Geneva (tel.)
Conversation with Secretary General Avenol of the League of Nations, who thought League opinion would be unanimous for expulsion of the Soviet Union.
800
Dec. 4 (265) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
President’s statement, December 2 (text printed), setting forth U. S. policy of “moral embargo”.
801
Dec. 5 (1020) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet publication of announcement of convocation of the League Council and Assembly to consider Soviet attack on Finland, and reply of the Soviet Government thereto.
801
Dec. 13 (1077) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet reply, December 12 (text printed), rejecting League request that the Finnish question be negotiated.
803
Dec. 13 (322) From the Consul General at Geneva (tel.)
Draft resolution (text printed) which will accompany the draft report drawn up by the committee on Finnish appeal to be presented to the Assembly on December 14.
803
Dec. 14 (324) From the Consul General at Geneva (tel.)
Assembly’s unanimous adoption of the resolution transmitted by telegram No. 322, December 13, and of a further resolution for the expulsion of the Soviet Union from the League of Nations.
804
[Page LXXXIII]Dec. 24 (313) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Statement of U. S. decision, December 20 (text printed), to render no further assistance to “certain countries” in the construction of plants for the manufacture of aviation gasoline.
806
Dec. 28 (321) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet refusal to permit engineers employed by Max B. Miller and Co. to report to the Embassy in Moscow in order to have their passports validated; instructions to inform the Soviet Government that this procedure is a U. S. requirement, and that Soviet interference will be viewed with disfavor.
807
Dec. 29 (1156) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that as a result of continued pressure, permission has been granted for the engineers to proceed to Moscow, but that promised transportation has not been forthcoming.
808
Dec. 29 (1157) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Potemkin’s acquiescence in principle to Embassy’s complaints regarding restriction of movement of American citizens; opinion, however, that further difficulties will doubtless be experienced by the engineers in their efforts to depart from the Soviet Union.
809

Trade Relations Between the United States and the Soviet Union; Renewal of Commercial Agreement by Exchange of Notes Signed on August 2, 1939

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Feb. 13 (16) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to ascertain whether unofficial information received by the Department of Agriculture is correct that the Soviet Government is interested in obtaining a large quantity of wheat.
809
Feb. 19 (78) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from the Commissar of Foreign Trade that the Soviet Government is not in actual need of more wheat but might be interested in the purchase of 200,000 additional tons if favorable terms could be obtained.
810
Feb. 23 (20) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Opinion of the Department of Agriculture that it is unnecessary to take any further steps in the wheat question at present, but advisable to leave the initiative to the Soviet Government.
810
Mar. 9 (2166) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Observations on an article carried in the Planned Economy, No. 12, of 1938, relating to the Soviet foreign trade policy, and conclusion that this policy is still unalterably opposed in theory and practice to U. S. foreign commercial policy.
811
May 15 (2324) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Information of a memorandum handed to the Foreign Office on May 4 expressing the hope that the marine underwriters of the United States would be allowed a share in the insurance business on merchandise en route between the United States and the Soviet Union.
812
[Page LXXXIV]May 17 Memorandum by Mr. Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs
Discussion with Mr. Sayre concerning a recent proposal by Mr. G. G. Serkau, in behalf of the Soviet Government, to purchase large amounts of cotton, lard, and wheat in the United States; decision to ascertain from the Soviet Embassy the validity of the proposal and Serkau’s connection with the Soviet Government.
812
June 27 (73) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to ascertain the Soviet attitude toward renewal of the present commercial agreement with the United States; confidential information that while the Department desires an upward adjustment of Soviet guaranteed purchases, it is not prepared to insist on this increase.
814
June 28 Memorandum by Mr. Edward Page, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs to the Secretary of State
Information that the Soviet Ambassador will call at the Department on June 29 to discuss U. S.-Soviet trade relations, especially the question of Soviet manganese exports to United States. Data on manganese imports into United States.
815
June 29 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Soviet Ambassador’s proposal that the United States purchase from the Soviet Union 200,000 tons of manganese a year during the 4-year period authorized for U. S. purchases of strategic raw materials (Thomas-Faddis Bill).
816
June 29 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Discussion with the Soviet Ambassador, who emphasized decline in American imports of Soviet goods; reminder to the Ambassador that this decline is due partly to Soviet curtailment of certain exports.
818
June 29 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Outline of a plan by Mr. I. R. Guilden, an associate of G. G. Serkau, for selling American cotton to the Soviet Government on long-term credit; analysis of questions involved, and conclusion that the proposal should be submitted for joint study by the interested departmental agencies.
819
July 4 (363) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion with Potemkin on July 3 concerning renewal of the commercial agreement; expectation of early reply as to Soviet Government’s views.
823
July 7 From the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs to the Adviser on International Economic Affairs
Desire for cooperation of Export-Import Bank officials in relaying to the European Division substance of any conversations with Soviet officials or agencies which might have a bearing on U. S.-Soviet financial or economic relations.
823
July 8 (84) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to reply to the Foreign Minister, if the question is brought up in connection with renewal of the commercial agreement, that the U. S. Government is unable to pledge in advance the amount or origin of materials to be purchased during the next 4 years.
824
[Page LXXXV]July 22 (400) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet Government’s readiness to begin negotiations for renewal of the commercial agreement, and hope that the United States will consider guaranteeing certain duty reductions and purchases of manganese ore.
824
July 27 (105) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to inform the Soviet authorities that modification of duty rates can be guaranteed only in connection with negotiations under the Trade Agreements Act, but that this question in its relation to the Soviet Union is already being explored; further instructions regarding text of principal exchange of notes for renewal of the current agreement.
826
July 30 (414) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Explanation to Soviet authorities of U. S. views on various points; request for Department’s views on possible substitution of new wording in one phrase of text of notes.
827
July 31 (109) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Authorization for substitution of new phraseology if requested by Soviet authorities.
829
July 31 (417) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet decision to renew the agreement on the current basis without insertion of the new phraseology, the notes to be exchanged on August 2; request for information regarding time and date of Washington announcement.
829
Aug. 1 (110) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for certain data necessary for preparation of press release; substance of data to be supplied to American journalists in Moscow.
829
Aug. 1 (418) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Question of preparing the notes in both English and Russian; Soviet agreement, however, to accept the English notes and to prepare the replies in Russian.
831
Aug. 2 (419) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Embassy’s fruitless efforts to obtain the export data requested in telegram No. 110 of August 1; request for instructions as to substitution of other comment in the data to be given to American journalists.
831
Aug. 2 (421) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the notes, all dated August 2, have just been exchanged; that data for the press will be released on August 5.
832
(Editorial note: Citation to text of agreement and to Department press release.) 833
Aug. 2 (111) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Substitute comment (text printed) as requested in telegram No. 419 of August 2; request for certain information for use in drafting text of proclamation.
833
Aug. 3 (423) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information as requested in telegram No. 111 of August 2, and suggestions regarding use of Department’s substitute comment.
833
[Page LXXXVI]Aug. 3 (113) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for opinion as to Soviet intentions regarding the questions of tariff reductions and a formal trade agreement.
834
Aug. 4 (427) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Soviet Government is not interested in exploring the possibility of a formal trade agreement; explanation of Soviet reasons for dropping demands for tariff reductions and purchases of manganese.
834
Aug. 7 (2533) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Observations regarding certain phases of the recently completed negotiations for renewal of the U. S.-Soviet commercial agreement.
835

Difficulties From Soviet Authorities Interfering With the Proper Functioning of the American Embassy in Moscow

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Mar. 10 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs of a Conversation With the Chargé of the Soviet Union
Explanation, upon the Chargé’s request, of the American diplomatic courier system operating at present in and out of the Soviet Union, and of U. S. views with regard to customs inspection of personal effects.
837
Mar. 10 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Inquiry of the Soviet Chargé as to whether the U. S. Government intends to use the Moscow property reserved for it several years ago for the construction of a new Embassy.
838
Mar. 10 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Opinion that the Soviet Government should be advised of U. S. willingness to release the Moscow site; reasons for opinion, and comments as to possible future plans.
(Footnote: Information that the Soviet Chargé was advised of these views on March 14.)
839
Apr. 6 (2234) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Report of improvement in the Soviet customs treatment of U. S. courier service.
841
June 17 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Brief conversation with the Soviet Ambassador concerning relations between the American and Soviet Embassies.
843
July 13 (91) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Concurrence in opinion, previously expressed, that the Embassy should bear no part of expense of repainting the Mokhovaya Building, occupied by the Mission, as proposed by Burobin (Central Bureau for Service to Foreigners in Moscow).
843
Aug. 11 (119) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Authorization, in the Ambassador’s discretion, to waive personal appearance at the Embassy of members of the Red Army Ensemble to apply for visas to the United States to appear at the New York World’s Fair.
844
[Page LXXXVII]Aug. 16 (19) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Report of improvement in Soviet attitude in the issuance of visas to Americans; opinion, however, that the improvement may not be permanent.
844
Aug. 26 (474) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Foreign Office request for assistance in obtaining clearance through the Panama Canal of the Soviet steamer Kim, arriving shortly without a bill of health as required by the new rules of the Canal Zone authorities.
845
Aug. 28 (481) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request that the Department withhold assistance in clearance of the Kim in view of Soviet denial of diplomatic courtesy to the Embassy in connection with the examination of the personal effects of Dr. Nelson, Public Health Officer, who is attempting to leave the Soviet Union.
845
Aug. 29 (131) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that no action will be taken with respect to the Kim pending report of developments in the Nelson case; further suggestions for obtaining proper treatment of Dr. Nelson.
846
Aug. [30] Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Unsatisfactory conversations with the Soviet Embassy regarding the clearance of the Kim and the treatment accorded Dr. Nelson; opinion that the Ambassador in Moscow should be firmly supported, inasmuch as the present dispute may stiffen Foreign Office attitude toward the Embassy.
847
Aug. 31 (491) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request that the Canal authorities be instructed to refuse entry of the Kim and that a firm attitude be assumed regarding the Nelson case.
850
Aug. 31 (492) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request that Dr. Nelson be permitted by the Public Health Service to remain in Moscow until he has settled the matter of customs examination; reasons for this request.
(Footnote: Information that the Ambassador was advised on September 1 that this request had been granted.)
852
Aug. 31 (136) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Message being sent to Panama Canal authorities (text printed) requesting that the Kim be given the most rigid treatment legally possible.
852
Sept. 1 (139) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Message from Canal authorities, advising of the Kim’s arrival with documents in order; regret that the Kim cannot be detained beyond September 2 on legal grounds.
853
Sept. 2 (497) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Foreign Office has taken favorable action in Nelson’s case upon Ambassador’s personal request; suggestion that the Kim be allowed to proceed at once, and that the usual customs facilities be accorded the Red Army Ensemble upon its arrival in New York.
(Footnote: Arrangements for courtesies to be accorded the Red Army Ensemble.)
854
[Page LXXXVIII]Sept. 5 (507) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Apprehension of Soviet employees of the Embassy regarding the effect of the war on the internal situation in the Soviet Union.
854
Sept. 26 (83) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Report of continued Soviet practices of rigid customs requirements; suggestions for ascertaining whether reciprocal treatment is being accorded the Embassy in Moscow.
855
Oct. 4 (676) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from the Foreign Office that in the future gratis automobile license plates will be issued to the Embassy.
(Footnote: Information that several attempts had been made in 1938 and 1939 by the Embassy to secure reciprocal treatment in this matter.)
857
Oct. 19 (774) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Suggestion that, in view of Soviet noncooperative attitude toward the principle of reciprocity in customs treatment of consular officers, the Department curtail its liberal treatment of Soviet consular officers by requesting that the U. S. customs authorities distinguish between the Soviet Ambassador’s luggage and that of Vice Consul Zaikin and wife, all arriving shortly in New York.
857
Oct. 28 To the Secretary of the Treasury
Substance of the Ambassador’s telegram No. 774 of October 19, and request for cooperation in the matter.
858
Nov. 15 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who complained of the press campaign against the Soviet Union, the Soviet Embassy, and himself since his return to the United States.
859
Nov. 27 (37) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Concurrence in suggestions set forth in despatch No. 83 of September 26; comments concerning these suggestions.
861
Dec. 7 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who complained of the customs treatment accorded the Zaikins upon their arrival in New York; explanation of U. S. policy of reciprocity in this regard as opposed to Soviet theory of most-favored-nation treatment.
862
Dec. 9 (272) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet Ambassador’s inquiry as to whether Soviet customs authorities examine the baggage of American consular officers assigned to Moscow who possess diplomatic passports; instructions to cite several instances.
864
Dec. 10 (1059) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Citation of several instances which indicate rigid Soviet customs practices with respect to foreign consular officers, notwithstanding their possession of diplomatic passports.
864
[Page LXXXIX]Dec. 16 From the Assistant Secretary of State to the Secretary of State
Transmittal of telegram No. 1059 of December 10, and résumé of recent developments connected with the question of applying the principle of reciprocity in customs treatment of foreign consular officers.
(Footnote: Information that the original of this memorandum was sent to the President on December 21.)
865
Dec. 22 Memorandum by President Roosevelt for the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State
Comment on Department’s memorandum of December 16 (supra) and related matters.
868

Efforts by Soviet Agencies To Purchase Warships, Naval Armament, and Other War Materials in the United States

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Jan. 3 Memorandum by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control
Conversation with Mr. Francis Gibbs, naval architect, who said that the Soviet Government wished him to prepare plans for two modern destroyers in addition to plans for a 45,000–ton battleship.
869
Feb. 14 (72) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that a “special mission for the Soviet Navy” (consisting of eight officers headed by Admiral Isaakov) will sail shortly for the United States; assumption that the special mission will participate in further negotiations between Gibbs and Cox, Inc., and Carp Export and Import Corporation.
871
Feb. 28 To the Chargé of the Soviet Union
Transmittal of data (previously requested) concerning machinery used in the construction of the Fort Peck and Sardis dams. Objection of Navy and War Departments, however, to General Electric Company’s acceptance of foreign orders, or release of any information, involving the development or construction of turbo superchargers.
871
Mar. 3 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Gibbs concerning procedures for the proposed construction of destroyers, and his intention to discuss these matters with the Soviet naval mission.
872
Mar. 22 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Carp officials, who urged that inspection of Gibbs’ revised battleship plans be expedited.
873
Apr. 14 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Gibbs concerning the problem of obtaining ordnance plans and specifications for the proposed destroyers.
874
May 12 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Captain Joyce, of Gibbs and Cox, Inc., who gave a résumé of developments in negotiations with the Soviet naval mission.
876
May 20 To Gibbs and Cox, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Navy Department’s objection to the release of plans and data concerning destroyer designs to the Soviet Union, and reasons therefor.
878
[Page XC]May 22 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with Gibbs, who stated his intention to point out to the Navy Department discrepancies between the statements made to him with respect to construction of a battleship and the decisions now made in connection with destroyers.
879
May 27 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with Mr. Scott Ferris, Carp attorney, who gave a résumé of his conversation with President Roosevelt concerning the battleship and destroyer negotiations, and subsequent improvement in Navy’s attitude due to the President’s intervention in the matter.
882
June 17 From the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Résumé of negotiations to date on proposed battleship construction, and inquiry as to whether the U. S. Government would authorize designing and construction of modern destroyers for the Soviet Union provided no armament is included.
883
June 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Edison, who expressed his desire to facilitate the transactions for construction of naval vessels in accordance with the President’s wishes.
884
June 22 To the Ambassador of the Soviet Union
Understanding that Gibbs and Cox, Inc., were informed on June 19 that the Navy Department had no objection, on grounds of military secrecy, to the most recent plans and specifications submitted; that Gibbs will submit any desired modifications of the designs.
885
June 23 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Résumé of events brought about by Soviet Ambassador’s interference in the matter of construction of war vessels.
887
June 23 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, who took a pessimistic view of the situation relative to proposed construction of naval vessels.
889
July 5 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with Gibbs, who was informed of the substance of a forthcoming Navy Department communication containing certain technical decisions.
890
July 20 To Gibbs and Cox, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Navy Department’s opinion that no installation or designs not thoroughly service-tested should be offered by the designers to the U. S. S. R.
891
July 20 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Probability that United Aircraft Corp. will enter into contract with Amtorg for the manufacture of aircraft engines.
892
July 21 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Information from Gibbs that the Soviet naval mission has been authorized to proceed with the purchase of two destroyers to be constructed in accordance with plans recently approved by the Navy Department.
893
[Page XCI]July 27 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Intention of International General Electric Co., Inc., to prepare quotations in the hope of securing a contract for propulsion equipment for use in the Soviet destroyers.
893
Aug. 17 To Gibbs and Cox, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Navy Department’s comments on the revised plans and specifications drawn up by Gibbs for the construction of two destroyers for the Soviet Union.
894
Aug. 24 From the Chargé of the Soviet Union
Soviet Government’s desire to obtain as much information as possible concerning U. S. submarine rescue equipment.
(Footnote: Information that a copy of the pamphlet, Submarine Safety—Respiration and Rescue Devices, was transmitted to the Soviet Chargé on October 26.)
895
Sept. 6 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with Acting Secretary of the Navy Edison concerning inquiry of Gibbs as to whether the international situation will bring about a change in U. S. policy with respect to construction of naval vessels for the Soviet Union; Edison’s concurrence in opinion that it is unnecessary to make a change in policy at present.
895
Sept. 16 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Further conversation with Edison, and agreement as to the inadvisability of announcing, at present, any change of policy.
896
Oct. 3 To Gibbs and Cox, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Substance of a letter from Navy Department indicating that no change has been made in Navy policy, but that the proposed Soviet construction may be postponed due to large demands on American shipbuilding facilities for U. S. requirements.
898
Oct. 9 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with Gibbs, who stated that in view of the present situation in Europe he would drop the Soviet project.
(Footnote: Information that Gibbs sent a copy of Department’s letter of October 3 to the Soviet naval mission and to Amtorg on October 9.)
899
Nov. 8 To the International General Electric Company, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Information from the Navy Department that expansion of the U. S. Navy and the continued program of the U. S. Maritime Commission will tax to the limit the facilities for manufacturing marine propelling and auxiliary machinery.
(Footnote: Information that similar letters were addressed to five other manufacturers; that Navy’s purpose was to furnish these companies with a suitable excuse for breaking off negotiations with the Soviet representatives, if desired.)
899
Nov. 18 To Gibbs and Cox, Inc., New York, N. Y.
Advice that the Navy Department does not desire that the plans and specifications for the destroyers be transmitted either in whole or in part to the Soviet representatives.
900
[Page XCII]Nov. 21 To the International General Electric Company, Inc., New York. N. Y.
Advice of Navy decision that detailed drawings and supplementary information regarding propulsion equipment for destroyers should be supplied only upon completion of the equipment and after its actual sale and delivery to the purchaser.
901
Nov. 28 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Nonobjection to Gibbs’ sending a copy of Department’s letter of November 18 to Soviet representatives.
901
Dec. 1 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Conversation with Assistant Secretary of War, who stated his opinion that the Soviet Union will attempt to close contracts with a number of American airplane manufacturers within the next few days.
902
Dec. 4 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Controls
Telephone conversation with the president of the Curtiss-Wright Corp., who stated his intention to break off negotiations with the Soviet representatives.
903

Arrest and Detention of American Citizens by the Soviet Government in Contravention of the Undertaking of November 16, 1933

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Jan. 6 (2) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to continue to press the Foreign Office for a definite reply concerning the welfare of Mrs. Ruth Marie Rubens and the status of her case.
904
Jan. 20 (2029) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Embassy’s fruitless efforts to obtain information regarding the disappearance of E. J. Nousiainen, American citizen of dual nationality; opinion that the Foreign Office is still unable to obtain such information from Soviet internal authorities.
904
Mar. 9 (2163) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Account of repeated representations in behalf of Mrs. Rubens and of the unyielding obstructionist attitude of the Soviet authorities in the matter.
905
Apr. 15 (40) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to address a note to the Foreign Office (text printed) requesting immediate disposition of the Rubens case.
(Footnote: Information that note was delivered on April 17.)
906
Apr. 18 (2259a) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Advice that a note verbale was handed to Potemkin, April 17, requesting an immediate interview with Arthur J. Kujala, American citizen under arrest.
907
June 7 (294) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Receipt of information that a judgment will be rendered shortly in the Rubens case; advice that permission has been requested for admittance to the trial.
908
[Page XCIII]June 9 (298) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information from the Foreign Office concerning time and place of the Rubens trial.
(Footnote: Résumé of the trial, and expectation that detention of Mrs. Rubens will end on June 10, 1939.)
908
June 14 (311) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Request for Department’s views as to further representations in the case of Mrs. Rubens, in view of the evasive attitude of the Foreign Office regarding her whereabouts.
909
June 15 (65) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to request an interview with Potemkin or Molotov and present a note (substance printed) requesting information on Mrs. Rubens and an immediate interview with her.
909
June 17 (321) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of an interview with Potemkin, and Potemkin’s promise to expedite the matter.
(Footnote: Information concerning the outcome of the Rubens case.)
911
July 24 (607) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union
Department’s opinion (in reply to a previous inquiry) that the Embassy should continue its representations on behalf of E. J. Nousiainen.
912
July 25 From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information regarding certain Soviet restrictions in the Kujala case; request for Department’s views before discussing the matter further with Potemkin.
912
July 28 (107) To the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions for setting forth firmly the U. S. position in the Kujala case.
913
Dec. 13 (282) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Authorization to address a note to the Foreign Office pointing out apparent violations of the Litvinov pledge in the Kujala case.
914
Dec. 15 From the American Ambassador in the Soviet Union to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union
Review of the Kujala case and citation of the Litvinov pledge of November 16, 1933; request for an explanation of the course pursued by the Soviet Government.
914
Dec. 27 (236) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
Unsatisfactory Soviet reply, December 22 (text printed), to the Ambassador’s note of December 15; Ambassador’s reply thereto, December 27 (text printed).
915
[Page XCIV]

Arrest in the United States of a Soviet Citizen Charged With Violation of the Espionage Laws

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Mar. 2 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Chargé concerning recent developments in the Gorin case; Chargé’s protest on two matters which had arisen in the course of the trial.
918
Mar. 6 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Soviet Chargé, who reiterated his requests for redress in the Gorin case.
920
Mar. 10 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Reiteration of complaints by the Soviet Chargé, who employed threatening language in setting forth his views.
921
Mar. 16 From the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Summary of the most recent developments in the Gorin case, including a verdict of guilty.
922
Mar. 18 From the Embassy of the Soviet Union
Representations against certain remarks and the general conduct of the Federal Attorney during the Gorin trial.
922
Mar. 24 To the Chargé of the Soviet Union
Information that a copy of the Soviet memorandum of March 18 has been transmitted to the Attorney General of the United States for consideration.
925
(Editorial note: Information that Gorin was sentenced on March 20 to 6 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $10,000; reference to subsequent developments in the case.) 926

Difficulties With the Soviet Government Over the Requirement for the Registration of Agents in the United States of Foreign Principals

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Mar. 30 To All Chiefs of Mission in the United States (circ.)
Request for registration with the State Department of officers and employees of foreign Governments residing in, or engaged in activities in, the United States.
926
Apr. 20 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Opinion that the Department must insist upon prompt and full compliance with the circular note of March 30, notwithstanding complaints already received from the Soviet Embassy.
928
Aug. 8 To the Embassy of the Soviet Union
Explanation of the purpose of the circular note of March 30, and assurance that the procedure outlined therein will be required of all Missions with no thought of discrimination.
930
Dec. 20 (1117) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of a memorandum from the Foreign Office setting forth Soviet position concerning the institution, in the United States, of criminal proceedings against members of the board of directors of the Bookniga Corp. for violation of the law concerning registration of foreign agents.
931
Dec. 22 (311) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Enumeration of points to be used in making reply to the Foreign Office regarding charges against the Bookniga Corp.
933
[Page XCV]

Pressure by the Soviet Union Upon Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania To Conclude Pacts of Mutual Assistance

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Apr. 16 (29) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Advice of a Soviet démarche, March 27, to Estonia and Latvia, expressing interest in maintenance of independence of both countries; Latvian oral reply, April 7, indicating intention to resist any attempt to impair that independence.
934
Apr. 19 (13) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Estonian reply of April 7 (to Soviet démarche of March 27) that the Estonian Government cannot consent to any restriction of its sovereignty nor share with any other state the responsibility for protection of its rights.
935
June 8 (473 Diplo.) From the Chargé in Lithuania
Opinion of Latvian and Estonian Ministers that the smaller states in the Baltic region should pursue a policy of absolute neutrality; that they should avoid any appearance of association with either of the groups of Great Powers against the other.
935
June 22 (329) From the Chargé in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the representatives of the three Baltic States are making no attempt to disguise their distrust of Soviet intentions toward the Baltic region.
937
Sept. 5 (43) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Disinclination of Estonian officials to place credence in rumors of a secret understanding between Germany and the Soviet Union contemplating Soviet occupation of Estonia.
938
Sept. 17 (153) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Molotov’s notification to the Baltic States that their independence will be respected if they observe favorable neutrality.
938
Sept. 23 (599) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Estonian Foreign Minister will arrive in Moscow, September 24, to sign a commercial treaty with the Soviet Union providing for enlarged transit and storage facilities for supplies; possibility that important political questions might be discussed also.
939
Sept. 25 (609) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conjectures regarding the sudden return to Tallinn of the Estonian Foreign Minister after an interview at the Kremlin on September 24.
940
Sept. 26 (614) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Possible relation of the proposed Soviet-Estonian commercial treaty to the operation of the U. S. Neutrality Act.
940
Sept. 26 (620) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Confidential information that the Kremlin had made greater demands of the Estonian Foreign Minister on September 24 than those already in the treaty which he was prepared to sign.
941
Sept. 27 (622) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Tass communique, September 27 (text printed), announcing institution of Soviet-Estonian conversations concerning measures for safeguarding Soviet waters against diversionist acts of foreign submarines hiding in Baltic waters.
941
Sept. 27 (197) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Foreign Office opinion that Ribbentrop’s visit to Moscow is connected with the present Soviet-Estonian discussions; that Latvia is not involved in these conversations.
942
[Page XCVI]Sept. 28 (66) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Meeting scheduled in Moscow, September 28, for discussion of Soviet-Estonian security agreement; new Soviet demands to include garrisons.
943
Sept. 28 (68) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Signature of mutual assistance agreement by Foreign Minister on September 28.
943
Sept. 28 (70) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Résumé of concessions set forth in the Soviet-Estonian agreement, and advice that formal signature may not have taken place as previously reported; general opinion that Finland is next on Soviet agenda, Latvia second.
944
Sept. 29 (648) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Formal signature, September 28, of Soviet-Estonian mutual assistance agreement for 10 years, practically amounting to a Soviet military protectorate over Estonia.
944
Oct. 2 (75) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Arrival of Soviet military technical committees to arrange for the delimitation of the naval and air bases provided for in the Soviet-Estonian pact, which will be formally ratified on October 3.
945
Oct. 2 (219) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Information of sharp division in the Cabinet concerning future course to be pursued by Latvia; Foreign Minister’s request for full authorization to conclude negotiations in Moscow with the Soviet Government.
945
Oct. 2 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Inquiry of Lithuanian Minister as to U. S. attitude toward possible acceptance by his Government of the Vilna territory if offered by the Soviet Government; Minister’s enumeration of certain factors in favor of the transfer.
946
Oct. 3 (46) From the Minister in Lithuania (tel.)
Information that a delegation of Lithuanian officials are en route to Moscow for consultation at Molotov’s invitation.
948
Oct. 3 (666) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Press announcements of forthcoming Soviet discussions with Latvian and Lithuanian representatives.
948
Oct. 3 (497) From the Minister in Latvia
Analysis of the terms of the Soviet-Estonian mutual assistance pact; opinion that Estonia is only the starting point in Baltic concessions desired by the Soviet Government.
949
Oct. 4 (672) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Information that the Latvian Foreign Minister consulted with Molotov on October 3.
952
Oct. 4 (673) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Press reports of arrival of the Lithuanian Foreign Minister and his consultation with high officials on October 3.
952
Oct. 4 (81) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Résumé of terms of Soviet-Estonian commercial treaty, and information that its implementation will depend largely upon how the mutual assistance pact will develop.
952
[Page XCVII]Oct. 4 (173) From the Chargé in Estonia
Comments regarding two secret clauses in the Soviet-Estonian mutual assistance pact.
953
Oct. 5 (83) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Estonian concern caused by Soviet demands for certain military bases outside of the provisions of the mutual assistance pact. Advice that the pact was ratified on October 4.
954
Oct. 5 (228) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Indication that the Soviet-Latvian pact will be similar to the Soviet-Estonian pact.
954
Oct. 5 (84) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Receipt of information that the Soviet committee now in Tallinn has been instructed not to press for demands described in telegram No. 83 of October 5; general opinion that this action is prompted by Soviet desire not to disturb the atmosphere for the completion of the Latvian and Lithuanian negotiations.
955
Oct. 5 (47) From the Minister in Lithuania (tel.)
Confidential information that the Soviet Government has offered to Lithuania the Vilna territory in exchange for a full mutual assistance pact; that a commission will leave for Moscow shortly.
956
Oct. 5 (687) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice that the Soviet-Latvian pact was signed on October 5, but that the text has not been released.
956
Oct. 6 (87) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Substance of secret protocol which supplemented Soviet-Estonian pact of mutual assistance, and comments as to its significance.
957
Oct. 6 (690) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of terms of the Soviet-Latvian pact, and summary of a communiqué (excerpt printed) published simultaneously with announcement of the treaty on October 6.
958
Oct. 6 (693) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of Pravda and Izvestiya editorials, October 6, concerning the Soviet-Latvian pact.
960
Oct. 7 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Conversation with the Latvian Minister regarding the Soviet-Latvian pact.
961
Oct. 7 (702) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations of the German Ambassador on Soviet penetration into the Baltic, and Soviet-German relations in general.
962
Oct. 9 (94) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Foreign Minister’s observations as to Germany’s reasons for evacuating its minority from Estonia.
(Footnote: Information that permission was requested for the evacuation of the German minorities in the three Baltic States immediately after Hitler’s Reichstag speech of October 6.)
963
Oct. 10 (721) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Belief that delay in the conclusion of a Soviet-Lithuanian agreement has resulted from enlarged Soviet demands.
963
[Page XCVIII]Oct. 10 (247) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Foreign Minister’s pessimistic view regarding the future maintenance of Latvia’s integrity; his observations on Soviet-German relations.
964
Oct. 11 (723) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Signature of Soviet-Lithuanian pact, October 10, similar to the Estonian and Latvian pacts; information that the Vilna territory will be ceded to Lithuania.
965
Oct. 11 (50) From the Minister in Lithuania (tel.)
Information that announcement of the return of Vilna has been enthusiastically received, but that the withdrawal of German minority from the Baltic States is viewed with disfavor by the Foreign Office.
965
Oct. 12 (733) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Signature, October 12, of protocol concerning the disposition of Soviet land and air forces in Estonia.
966
Oct. 12 (253) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Exchange of ratifications of the Soviet-Latvian mutual assistance pact.
966
Oct. 13 (737) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet ratification of the Soviet-Lithuanian mutual assistance pact.
(Footnote: Ratification by Lithuania on October 14, and exchange of ratifications on October 16.)
967
Oct. 13 (590 Diplo.) From the Minister in Lithuania
Interview with the Vice Prime Minister, who told of the discussions leading up to and following the actual signing of the pact.
967
Oct, 14 (263) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Arrival of a Soviet military delegation, October 13, from Tallinn and Moscow.
969
Oct. 14 (102) From the Chargé in Estonia (tel.)
Report of general acquiescent attitude toward the new situation created by the mutual assistance pact.
969
Oct. 17 (762) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Press announcement of signature on October 15 of a Soviet-Lithuanian trade agreement for 1939–40.
970
Oct. 19 (771) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Press announcement of signature of a Soviet-Latvian trade agreement.
970
Oct. 19 From the Polish Ambassador
Formal protest of the Polish Government to the Lithuanian Government against its acceptance of any territory ceded by the Soviet Union which does not belong to the Soviet Union.
971
Oct. 20 To the Polish Ambassador
Acknowledgment of Polish note of October 19.
971
Oct. 21 (600 Diplo.) From the Minister in Lithuania
Discussion with the Vice Prime Minister regarding certain phases of the Vilna question.
971
[Page XCIX]Oct. 21 (601 Diplo.) From the Minister in Lithuania
Conversation with the Foreign Minister concerning problems arising from the general war situation and the Soviet-Lithuanian relations.
974
Oct. 24 (280) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Information on movement of Soviet troops in accordance with the recently concluded pact; request that War Department be informed.
975
Oct. 27 (291) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Information from the Lithuanian Minister that the delay in the occupation of the Vilna territory has been due to difficulties with the Soviet commission in Kaunas.
976
Oct. 27 (606 Diplo.) From the Minister in Lithuania
Conversation with the Prime Minister, who outlined the Lithuanian negotiations with the Soviet commission in connection with the Vilna territory; subsequent conversation with the Vice Prime Minister concerning probable withdrawal of German minority from Lithuania.
976
Oct. 28 (292) From the Minister in Latvia (tel.)
Report on Soviet troop movements, and request that War Department be informed.
978
Nov. 7 (300) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Further report on Soviet troop movements.
978
Nov. 7 (301) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Report of extensive transfer of metal materials and items to the Soviet Union during Soviet occupation of Vilna.
979
Nov. 16 (65) From the Minister in Lithuania (tel.)
Information that Soviet troops are taking garrison positions in accordance with provisions of the pact.
979
Dec. 5 (141) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Advice that certain tension exists due to fear of further Soviet pressure; that economic relations with Soviet Union, however, appear to be satisfactory.
979
Dec. 8 (1041) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Press announcement of the arrival in Moscow, December 7, of an Estonian military delegation; conjectures regarding purpose of the mission.
980
Dec. 11 (343) From the Chargé in Latvia (tel.)
Report that Soviet Government is advising Latvia to accede to all demands being made by Germany in connection with trade negotiations being carried on in Berlin.
980
Dec. 14 (634 Diplo.) From the Chargé in Lithuania
Advice that since the entry of Soviet troops and the cession of Vilna, there has been no new development in Soviet-Lithuanian relations; that various commissions are still working out details of the new boundary and other matters.
981
Dec. 15 (155) From the Minister in Estonia (tel.)
Return of the Estonian military delegation, whose visit to the Kremlin was described by a Foreign Office official as “most reassuring”.
981
[Page C]Dec. 20 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Latvian Minister’s description of the present international situation of the Baltic States.
(Footnote: Information concerning the incorporation, in 1940, of the three Baltic States as constituent republics of the Soviet Union.)
982
Dec. 22 (602) From the Minister in Latvia
Abstention of the three Baltic Foreign Ministers from voting at Geneva on the question of expulsion of the Soviet Union from the League of Nations.
(Footnote: Information that the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14 because of its aggression against Finland.)
984

Detention of the American Vessel “City of Flint” and Its Crew as a German Prize in the Port of Murmansk

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Oct. 23 (202) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to obtain from Soviet authorities further information concerning a Tass report of the detention of the American steamer City of Flint at a Soviet port with a German prize crew on board.
(Footnote: Information concerning the vessel and its earlier itinerary.)
984
Oct. 24 (789) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Understanding that detention of the City of Flint is merely temporary and that the prize crew has been interned; intention to inquire into the matter further as soon as appointment with Potemkin is granted.
985
Oct. 24 (793) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Interview with Potemkin, who had no new facts regarding the detention of the City of Flint as yet.
986
Oct. 24 (208) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Outline of legal contentions as basis for requesting Soviet release of the City of Flint with its American crew.
986
Oct. 25 (211) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further discussion of legal aspects, and instructions for discussing the City of Flint with the Soviet Government.
987
Oct. 25 (212) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Suggestion that an Embassy staff member be sent to Murmansk if full information regarding the City of Flint is not forthcoming immediately.
988
Oct. 25 (799) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Discussion of the City of Flint incident with Potemkin, who gave assurance that American officers and crew were safe on board, and promised to expedite conclusion of the matter.
989
Oct. 26 (800) From, the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Tass report of release of German prize crew from internment; Potemkin’s understanding, however, that the prize crew has not been returned to the vessel.
989
[Page CI]Oct. 26 (213) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Instructions to continue to press for right of free communication with the officers and crew of the City of Flint.
990
Oct. 26 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Memorandum, October 26 (text printed), handed to the Soviet Chargé setting forth U. S. position.
990
Oct. 26 (805) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Intention to renew inquiry as to grounds upon which detention is based, in view of inability to communicate with the ship’s Captain or to gain any further information on the whole question from Soviet authorities.
991
Oct. 26 (807) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Further discussion with Potemkin of the status of the City of Flint.
992
Oct. 26 (808) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Soviet radio announcement that naval authorities have decided to release the City of Flint on condition that she leave the port of Murmansk immediately.
992
Oct. 27 (809) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Difficulties encountered in attempting to communicate with the American crew and to obtain fuller information concerning development of the situation.
993
Oct. 27 (810) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Inability to establish telephone communication with the Captain of the vessel as planned.
994
Oct. 27 (814) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Intention to send an Embassy official by train to Leningrad in the hope that permission for him to proceed to Murmansk will be received by the time of his arrival there.
995
Oct. 27 (815) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Note sent to Potemkin (text printed) protesting against Soviet lack of cooperation with the Embassy in its efforts to communicate with the Captain of the City of Flint.
995
Oct. 27 (216) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Summary of conflicting reports and of Soviet inconsistencies in connection with the City of Flint case, and instructions for further representations in the matter.
996
Oct. 27 (818) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with Potemkin, who outlined the reasons behind Soviet decision to permit the German prize crew to take the City of Flint to sea.
997
Oct. 27 (820) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations concerning the complex organization of the Soviet Government as demonstrated by the handling of the City of Flint case; belief that the Soviet Government, by means of delay, has been attempting to protect the German position.
999
Oct. 28 (821) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Telephone conversation with the Dispatcher of the Port of Murmansk, who gave information which tends to confirm the view expressed in telegram No. 820 of October 27.
1000
[Page CII]Oct. 28 (822) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Advice from German Embassy that City of Flint is expected to be successfully returned to a German port by remaining in Scandinavian waters on the return voyage.
1001
Oct. 29 (829) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations of a German Embassy official concerning the City of Flint
1002
Oct. 29 (830) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Tass announcement of departure of the City of Flint from Murmansk.
1003
Oct. 29 (831) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Observations on Soviet attitude in the case of the City of Flint, and reiteration of opinion that the Soviet Government has been collaborating with the German Government in the matter.
1003
Oct. 30 (792) To the Chargé in Germany (tel.)
Instructions to remind the German Government of its responsibility for the safety of the American crew on board the City of Flint.
1005
Oct. 30 (833) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Absence of press comment concerning the City of Flint.
1005
Oct. 31 (220) To the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Résumé of Soviet delays and failure to furnish information in the City of Flint incident, and instructions for further representations.
1006
Nov. 3 (858) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Comment, point by point, on Department’s observations as set forth in its telegram No. 220 of October 31.
1007
Nov. 4 (860) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Potemkin’s explanation of Soviet action regarding the City of Flint.
1009
Nov. 4 (865) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Memorandum from Potemkin (text printed) elaborating on the points brought out in his oral explanation of November 4; recommendation that no reply be made to the statement.
1010
Nov. 8 Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs
Evaluation of the Soviet note of November 4, and concurrence in Ambassador Steinhardt’s view that no reply should be made, notwithstanding the inadequacy of Potemkin’s explanation.
1011
Nov. 9 (10) From the Minister in Norway (tel.)
Statement obtained from the Captain of the City of Flint (text printed) concerning the stay in Murmansk.
(Footnote: Résumé of the Captain’s earlier statement in this connection.)
1012