The Secretary of State to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union (Umansky)94

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and has [Page 884] the honor to invite the Ambassador’s attention to the note verbale dated May 16, 1941 addressed to the United States Embassy at Moscow by the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, the effect of which has been to restrict the travel in the Soviet Union of American diplomatic and consular officers, as well as of the other members of the staffs of the American Embassy at Moscow and of the American Consulate General at Vladivostok.95

Since the receipt of the note verbale, it has come to the attention of the Department that the new travel regulations established therein are being applied in such a manner as to make it virtually impossible for American diplomatic and consular officers, as well as for the other members of the American Embassy and the Consulate General, to visit most of the important cities and localities in the Soviet Union.

In view of the restrictions which have been placed upon the travel of American diplomatic and consular representatives and employees in the Soviet Union, the Government of the United States, on the basis of reciprocity, is constrained to place limitations upon the travel of Soviet diplomatic and consular representatives in the United States, as well as upon the employees of the Soviet Embassy and Consulates in this country. Commencing with this date, officials and employees of the Soviet Embassy are requested not to travel in the United States outside of the District of Columbia and of its immediate vicinity without formally notifying the Department of State of such travel and without obtaining the permission of the Department of State to engage in such travel. Formal notifications and requests for authorization to travel should be filed with the Department of State three days in advance of the proposed trip and should contain information concerning the projected route, the stopping places, the duration and purpose of the trip. Likewise, Soviet consular officers and employees of Soviet Consulates in the United States are requested not to travel outside of the immediate vicinity of the city in which they maintain residence without a similar notification and approval of the Department of State, obtained through the Soviet Embassy.96

  1. The full substance of this note was sent to Ambassador Steinhardt on June 7, 1941.
  2. The Soviet Government had agreed to the establishment of an American Consulate General at Vladivostok in 1940; see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. iii, pp. 460 ff.
  3. The limits of travel in the United States were orally explained on June 9, 1941, as meaning “for the time being, within one hundred miles of Washington not including the city of Baltimore; and within fifty miles of the city in which Soviet Consuls maintained residence,” which were New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. (701.6111/1037)