800.01B11 Registration/1708

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Bohlen)49

During Mr. Bazykin’s call this afternoon I referred to Mr. Gromyko’s visit to Mr. Welles on August 11 when he had taken up the question of the registration requirements which the Tass news agency was forced to undergo with specific reference to the fact that the Tass agency was required to give certain data which Reuters was not obliged to furnish. I told Mr. Bazykin that we had taken the matter up with the Department of Justice and that the Department of Justice had informed us that Tass as an official Governmental agency was required to effect a different form of registration than were private agencies such as Reuters; and that the Attorney General had explained this in full to Mr. Durant, Manager of the Tass Agency. I added that according to information received from the Attorney General Mr. Durant made no claim that Tass was being treated differently from other foreign government-owned news agencies but that he felt that to impose heavier burdens upon government-owned foreign news agencies than upon private news agencies must be regarded particularly as discriminating against Tass since it was the only important foreign government-owned news agency in this country.

I pointed out to Mr. Bazykin that the Attorney General did not feel free, in view of the intent of Congress and the legislative history [Page 844] of the Act, to waive all filing requirements for all foreign government-owned news agencies and that it was impossible to make such an exemption in favor of Tass since this would constitute discrimination against other foreign government-owned news agencies. I gave Mr. Bazykin a copy of a letter from the Attorney General to Mr. Durant in which the position of the Department of Justice on this matter was outlined in full. I told Mr. Bazykin that under the circumstances there was nothing the Department of State could do to obtain special treatment for the Tass news agency but that he could be sure that if there was any indication that Tass was being required to do anything which was not required of other foreign government-owned news agencies we would immediately draw the attention of the Department of Justice to any such evidence.

Charles E. Bohlen
  1. A memorandum based on this conversation was sent by Mr. Bohlen to Vladimir Ivanovich Bazykin, First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, on October 8, 1943 (800.01B11 Registration/1703).