711.61/822: Telegram

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

1277. In my talk with Lozovski yesterday afternoon I proposed to him (1) that Mrs. Habicht be released from imprisonment at Saratov, returned to Moscow, permitted to renounce Soviet citizenship and granted an exit visa, and that Mrs. Magidoff be permitted to renounce Soviet citizenship and granted an exit visa; (2) that the Soviet Government give immediate consideration to the granting of exit visas to such dual nationals9 and Soviet spouses of American citizens10 as I might suggest at a later date; (3) that an entry visa be immediately authorized for John Whitaker and Cyrus Sulzberger, representing important American newspapers; (4) that the Soviet telegraph authorities be instructed to grant priority and the fastest possible service for radio messages to and from the Embassy; (5) that cards be issued to the officers of the Embassy permitting their free circulation during air raids and at night, such cards having thus far been limited to myself; (6) that the censor be instructed to relax the rigidity with which messages of the American correspondents have thus far been treated; (7) that immediate authorization be granted for the sending of three American Naval Attachés to the Embassy in Moscow and one to Vladivostok; (8) that the Soviet military authorities be pressed to grant permission to Majors Yeaton and Michela to visit the front.

I told Lozovski that if the Soviet Government could see its way clear to granting the foregoing requests we were prepared to mutually relax the existing travel restrictions and to permit the two Soviet Assistant Military Attachés to remain in the United States.

Lozovski replied that as to (1) and (2) he would take up with Molotov at once the subject of Mrs. Habicht’s release and that, when he had Molotov’s reply, he would discuss the subject of exit visas with me further; (3) that he would take immediate steps to have visas authorized for Whitaker and Sulzberger; (4) that appropriate instructions would be issued to the telegraph authorities; (5) that he would recommend to the military authorities the granting of circulation cards to the officers of the Embassy; (6) that as he was now in charge of the information Bureau he would discuss with the censor a relaxation of the restrictions on the messages sent by the American correspondents; (7) that he had already instructed Umansky that the Soviet Government approved in principle of the assignment of an [Page 892] American Naval Attaché, that he could see no objection to four in number, and that he would take up the question of having one of them stationed in Vladivostok and that; (8) in so far as concerned the desire of Majors Yeaton and Michela to visit the front they should address themselves again to the appropriate military authorities.

Lozovski expressed his appreciation of the suggestion that there be a mutual relaxation of travel restrictions and that the two Soviet Assistant Military Attachés be permitted to remain in the United States, and said he would communicate with me “within a day or two” on the various subjects I had presented to him.

I gained the impression that Lozovski found my requests entirely reasonable and that he will exert himself in an endeavor to have them granted.

  1. For correspondence on the arrest and detention of American citizens, and other cases, see pp. 926 ff.
  2. See footnote 54, p. 867.