800.01B11 Registration/1708

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Soviet Ambassador50 called to see me. He referred to a call he had made on Mr. Sumner Welles about August 31 [11] when he had inquired whether it was necessary for Tass, the Russian news agency, to furnish the Department of Justice with the information requested of all foreign news agencies. The Ambassador said he understood an exception had been made for the British. He informed me that Mr. Bohlen had replied to him that an exception could not be made for Tass and that the request was immediately complied with.51 He raised the question as to whether this was not discrimination against the Russians. He said that it takes a tremendous amount of clerical help to compile the information required and that in the middle of a war they just did not have the time to do it.

I promised to communicate with him on this point.52

  1. Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko had presented his letter of credence as Ambassador of the Soviet Union to President Roosevelt on October 4.
  2. With a note of October 12, 1943, Ambassador Gromyko had actually sent 16 forms as exhibits which should have accompanied the registration form, which latter had already been received by the Department of Justice on August 16 from the Soviet Embassy (800.01B11 Registration/1703). These 16 forms were sent to the Department of Justice on October 16.
  3. In a letter of October 30, 1943, to Ambassador Gromyko, Acting Secretary of State Stettinius reviewed the status of the registration requirements for the Tass agency and pointed out that it was required by law for Tass as an official government agency to effect a different form of registration than were private news agencies such as the privately owned British agency Reuters. “In view of these considerations,” the Acting Secretary concluded, “I feel sure that you will agree with me that there has been no discrimination against the Tass News Agency.” (800.01B11 Registration/1708)