840.48 Refugees/44

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union (Troyanovsky)

During my conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, he said that he was much disturbed about a report that the President was proposing to open up the United States as an asylum for minority refugees from Russia; that he could not understand that; of course, that if it meant White Russian, including Trotsky, that was another matter, but he could not understand this and it would make his Government feel badly to learn that such was the purpose. I sought to reassure him entirely by calling his attention to the fact that the program for relief of refugees announced by this Government on yesterday, as was expressly shown in the invitations to other Governments, is confined to Protestants, Catholics, or other religious refugees from Austria and Germany, and likewise to Jews and other racial minorities,—suffering persecution in Germany and Austria; that I was entirely satisfied that the press had exaggerated the situation and that the President, who has shown his interest in Russia in so many ways from the time he extended recognition, could not have had in mind the idea of refugees from Russia in connection with this program, for the reason at least that it is expressly confined to refugees from Germany and Austria. The Ambassador seemed content.

C[ordell] H[ull]