Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Henderson)

The Soviet Ambassador called me by telephone this morning. He said that some time ago the Navy Department had inquired of the [Page 886] Soviet Embassy whether it would be agreeable to the Soviet Government for an American Naval Attaché and staff to be sent to Moscow.

The Ambassador said that he had received word from his Government that the Soviet Government would be pleased to accept any officer whom the American Government might designate as Naval Attaché and would be willing to have him bring his staff with him.

I told the Ambassador that I appreciated receiving this information. It was my understanding, however, that the Navy Department had some worries regarding the possibility of obtaining living and office quarters for the Naval Attaché and his staff, and I wondered whether he had any information in this regard from Moscow.

The Ambassador replied in the negative. He said that he was sure, however, even though Moscow was over-crowded, that some kind of accommodations could be found for the Naval Attaché and his staff. The Ambassador expressed the opinion that at this time we should think of important things and not concentrate on minor matters such as housing, and so forth.