701.4161/42: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

1117. My 1104, June 7, 3 p.m.30 I have learned from a source in which I have full confidence that the British Ambassador called on Vyshinski shortly prior to his sudden departure31 and that when Vyshinski inquired as to the probable date of Cripps’ return the latter sought to create the impression that his return was in doubt.32 My informant states that the Soviet Foreign Office then telegraphed the Soviet Ambassador in London33 informing him of the conversation between Vyshinski and Cripps and that Maisky thereupon called at the British Foreign Office in an endeavor to ascertain whether Cripps was returning to Moscow and if not why not.

My informant stated that he believed the subsequent announcement by the British Broadcasting Corporation that Cripps had been recalled to London for a conference in the normal course of events was designed to quiet the Soviet Government.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Sir Stafford Cripps left Moscow for Stockholm by airplane on the morning of June 6, 1941.
  3. Cripps did return and was not replaced until February 1942.
  4. Ivan Mikhailovich Maisky.