345.1163/78: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Calcutta (Wilson)

The Board of Foreign Missions of the United Lutheran Church in America states that the British Passport Control Office in New York has refused visas for India to two of the Board’s missionaries, Leila R. Van Deusen and Esther Eleanor Bacon on grounds that visas are being denied to all Lutherans.

Miss Van Deusen and Miss Bacon are native-born American citizens and according to information furnished to the Department both parents of each were born in the United States. Miss Van Deusen has previously served with the United Lutheran Mission at Kodaikanal, South India.

The Board states that the United Lutheran Church in America was founded in the United States in 1820 and has conducted missionary work in India for 99 years; that all the Board’s missionaries are instructed to refrain from political discussions and that neither the Church, Board, or its missions receive any financial aid from Germany.

Please bring the foregoing information to the attention of the appropriate authorities and report their decision to the Department by telegraph. You may add that representations have been made by the Department to the British Embassy who are taking up the matter at London.