Moscow Embassy Files: Lot F–96

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Dooman)

Major McCabe58 brought to my attention this morning the report which Doctor Lang59 had made with regard to the physical condition of the five American Army aviators now interned near Molotov,60 and I informed Major McCabe that I would be glad to represent to the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs the great desirability of transferring the aviators from Molotov to some point within the Soviet Union where the climate is more temperate than it is at Molotov, and the need for finding some work which would occupy the time and attention of the fliers. In view of the probability that considerable time would pass before the Soviet Government would come to a decision on any such questions, I suggested the desirability of asking that the Soviet Government permit the fliers to make a short visit either to Moscow or to Kuibyshev. Major McCabe was of the opinion that it would be desirable to make the representation which I had proposed.

Accordingly I called this afternoon on Mr. Zarubin61 and made to him a statement along the lines above outlined. Mr. Zarubin replied that the questions of transferring the fliers from Molotov to any other point and of finding work for them seemed to him to lie within the jurisdiction of the military authorities, and he asked whether the matter could not be taken up by the Military Attaché,62 upon his return to Moscow, with the Soviet military authorities. I said that while I saw no reason to object to any such action on the part of the Military Attaché and would indeed suggest that he also approach the appropriate Soviet authorities, I could not admit that the welfare of our aviators was not a matter of concern to the Embassy. Mr. Zarubin said that he would of course take note of my requests and would refer them to the Soviet military authorities. He expressed [Page 616]considerable interest in the proposal that the aviators be allowed to come to Moscow or Kuibyshev for a visit, and he said that he would communicate with me as soon as a decision had been taken in the matter.

E[ugene] H. D[ooman]
  1. Maj. Robert E. McCabe, Assistant Military Attaché in the Soviet Union.
  2. Lt. Comdr. Frederick R. Lang, Assistant Naval Attaché and Assistant Naval Attaché for Air in the Soviet Union.
  3. Interned at Okhansk near the city of Molotov, formerly called Perm.
  4. Georgy Nikolayevich Zarubin, Chief of the American Section of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Michela.