124.61/184: Telegram

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

1231. I anticipate that the Soviet Government will shortly leave Moscow and I suppose, although it is by no means certain, that arrangements [Page 887]will be made for the Diplomatic Corps to accompany or follow it. In this eventuality I propose, in the absence of instructions to the contrary, to leave a small staff in Moscow to evacuate further members of the staff if that is feasible and to take the remainder with me provided accommodations can be obtained.

If Moscow is defended against attack the staff remaining there will incur considerable risk and I propose to instruct them to leave the city if possible should it appear that the city itself is about to be attacked. We are all of us prepared to remain in Moscow should the Department so prefer. On the assumption that the Department desires that I accompany the Government if that is possible I have tentatively decided upon the following arrangement which so far as I can determine at the moment would best meet the situation.

To accompany me: Thurston, Dickerson, Thayer, Lee and E. L. Smith. To remain in Moscow: Thompson, Reinhardt, Morgan and Leino. Major Yeaton1 proposes, provided the War Department has no objection, that he and Flavin should accompany me and that Major Michela2 remain in Moscow. He desires instructions, however, as to whether Major Michela should remain until the entry of German troops.

I shall endeavor to evacuate or take with me such other members of the staff as may not already have been evacuated.

I propose to take with me one copy of each of the Embassy’s codes and to leave a Gray Code and Brown Code with Thompson.3

I intend to keep the Soviet employees on the payroll as long as possible as they have shown great loyalty during the emergency.

I should appreciate any comment on the foregoing immediately.

Steinhardt
  1. Maj. Ivan D. Yeaton, Military Attaché.
  2. Maj. Joseph A. Michela, Assistant Military Attaché.
  3. Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., Second Secretary of Embassy and Consul in Moscow.