The Secretary of State to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union (Litvinov)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and has the honor to refer to his notes of March 14 and March 27, 1942,79 in reply to the Ambassador’s note of March 4, 1942,80 in regard to the non-receipt of printed matter addressed to the Soviet Embassy and Consulates in the United States.81

The Ambassador was informed by the Secretary of State’s note of March 27 that an inquiry was being made for the purpose of determining whether any printed matter addressed to the Ambassador was being held, and that if any was being held, it would be released promptly. The Ambassador was also informed of the desire of the Director of Censorship82 to obtain a list of the publications involved. Such a list of publications were subsequently received under cover of the Ambassador’s note of April 6, 194280 and was forwarded by the Department to the Director of Censorship. The Department is now in receipt of a communication from the Chief Postal Censor,83 the pertinent portion of which is quoted below:

“…84 a check was made at our New York Censorship Station to determine whether any printed matter addressed to the Soviet Embassy was being held. The investigation disclosed that there was none. Nor will any future mailings be detained as instructions have been issued to release immediately any article passing through the station destined to the Soviet Embassy.…84

“I will hold the list of publications involved for ready reference. If any of them are submitted to American censorship, they will be cleared promptly for delivery.”

With regard to the statement made to an officer of the Department by the Counselor of the Soviet Embassy,85 to the effect that authorities of this Government were withholding Soviet publications addressed to individuals, organizations, and institutions in the United States, the Secretary of State informs the Ambassador that this matter has been referred to the appropriate authorities of the Government.86 [Page 443] A further communication on this subject will be addressed to the Ambassador in due course.87

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For correspondence concerning the dispute on this subject in 1941 prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, pp. 699759, passim.
  4. Byron Price, Office of Censorship.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Maj. W. Preston Corderman, Office of Censorship.
  7. Omission indicated in the original note.
  8. Omission indicated in the original note.
  9. Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko.
  10. Letters (not printed), were sent on June 10, 1942, to Attorney General Francis Biddle, and to Postmaster General Frank C. Walker.
  11. Note dated August 20, p. 453.