121.861/137: Telegram

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

229. Personal for the Ambassador. The President is planning in 2 or 3 weeks to send former Ambassador Davies29 to the Soviet Union in order to deliver an important and secret message to Stalin. Although while in the Soviet Union Mr. Davies will be carrying out orders received directly from the President he will nevertheless be under instructions to report to you immediately upon his arrival. I am sure that you and he will cooperate fully.

Please, therefore, seek an early interview with Molotov, inform him of the President’s plan, and ask if it would be agreeable to Stalin for you to present Mr. Davies to him in about a month.30

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You will be advised of Mr. Davies’ travel plans31 immediately after the receipt of the Soviet reply.

  1. Joseph E. Davies was Ambassador in the Soviet Union during 1937 and part of 1938.
  2. In telegram No. 321, April 16, 4 p.m., Ambassador Standley informed the Department that Molotov had told him that “Stalin will, of course, receive Mr. Davies at any time the President so desires.” Mr. Davies and his companions arrived in Moscow on May 19.
  3. The personnel of the group to go with Mr. Davies was set originally at 6 and, with the airplane crew, at 13 in all. A total grant of $25,000 was made available for the trip from the Emergency Fund for the President, of which not to exceed $5,000 could be used for objects of a “confidential nature, including such entertainment as in your [Davies’] discretion may be necessary.” A per diem not to exceed $25 a day for about 6 weeks was considered essential for the members of the party “in view of the high cost of living and the adverse exchange situation which exists in the Soviet Union.” (121.861/138a, 140a, 140b)