124.615/387: Telegram

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

707. My 538, March 19, 9 p.m. The Embassy is today in receipt of a note from the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs reading as follows:

“The Protocol Division of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs presents its compliments and has the honor to inform the American Embassy that on March 1 of this year the Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, A. Ya. Vyshinsky, notified by a personal note the Count von der Schulenburg, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps of Moscow, of the establishment by the People’s Commissariat for Finance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [on] March 1, 1941, as an exception of a preferential rate in the exchange by diplomatic representations in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of foreign freely convertible valuta for Soviet valuta at the rate of 1 American dollar to 12 rubles and that the limit within which this exchange may be effected at the Bank for Foreign Trade of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will be stated to the Embassies and Legations later.

“The Protocol Division is in a position to inform hereby that the limit established by the People’s Commissariat for Finance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the period of March 1 to December [31?] 1941 will be rubles 8,000,000 for the American Embassy. Within this limit the Embassy may exchange foreign freely convertible valuta either by a bank transfer or by cash (deposits) at the above-mentioned rate and on such dates as will be convenient to the Embassy.”

Steinhardt