123 Hamilton, Maxwell M.: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

4393. I presented yesterday afternoon to Dekanosov12 a communication embodying the information contained in the Department’s 2664, November 14, 5 p.m., concerning the appointment of Hamilton as United States representative in Finland. I reminded Dekanosov that we had appointed representatives in similar capacity to Rumania and Bulgaria and pointed out to him the necessity for some arrangement [Page 628] for representation of our interests in Finland in this interim period.

While Dekanosov could, of course, not give assurance off hand that the Soviet Government had no objection to this step, he was at pains to stress that the situation in Finland was not analogous to that in Bulgaria and Rumania. I am not sure that he was previously aware that we had representatives in Bulgaria and Rumania other than those accredited to the Control Commissions and this may have accounted in some degree for his reserve. I explained carefully to him the arrangements made in the cases of Bulgaria and Rumania but added that if the analogy bothered them they were at liberty to forget it and to consider the case of Finland on its merits.

While the Soviet Government will no doubt proceed with characteristic circumspection to make sure that our step has no implications which could possibly be detrimental to Soviet interests or prestige, I believe that Dekanosov’s reserve was due principally to the customary caution of Soviet officials in discussing matters on which they are not completely instructed and I cannot see on that [what] grounds the Soviet Government could properly object to the assignment of an American representative in the capacity we have in mind to a capital where as I understand neutral representatives are still present.

On the other hand, it is not certain that we will receive any direct indication at all of Soviet views and even if we do it is not likely that this will occur very promptly. If Higgs encounters any [no?] difficulties in making preparations for Hamilton’s arrival and if nothing further is heard here it seems to me that we would be justified after the lapse of a reasonable time in assuming that the appointment is agreeable to the Soviet Government and in proceeding accordingly. The Department may wish to consult Ambassador Harriman on this point.

  1. Vladimir Georgiyevich Dekanozov, Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.