123 Higgs, L. Randolph: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Sweden (Johnson)

2434. For Higgs. Travel orders are being prepared and will be telegraphed shortly instructing you together with a small staff to proceed to Helsinki to open and take charge of the “United States Mission in Finland”. You will remain in Helsinki until the arrival of Gullion [Hamilton?] sometime the latter part of January or early February. While in Helsinki you will have the title of and sign yourself “Secretary of Mission, in charge of United States Mission in Finland”.

The basic purpose of your mission is to provide American political representation in Finland until normal diplomatic relations are established [Page 629] between Finland and the United States. You should therefore make clear to the Finnish and Soviet authorities in Finland and to other interested persons that the opening of the United States mission does not constitute a resumption of diplomatic or consular relations between the United States and Finland.

You will have no consular functions and will perform no notarial or visa services. Question of issuance of passports will be dealt with in separate instructions which will be sent you later.

Immediately upon your arrival in Helsinki you will call upon the principal Soviet and British members of the Allied Control Commission. Subsequently you should call informally on the Minister for Foreign Affairs.14 You may also call on the chiefs of mission in Helsinki of friendly and neutral countries. During each of these calls you should explain the nature of your mission.

The Swiss Government is being notified of your mission and you should arrange with the Swiss representative in Helsinki15 to take over from him the premises of the former American Legation and gradually to take over the protection of American interests. You will not take over from the Swiss the representation of interests of other countries which were in the hands of the American Legation at Helsinki prior to the rupture of diplomatic relations between the United States and Finland.

You will at all times bear in mind that although the United States and Finland have not been at war with one another diplomatic relations between the two countries remain severed and Finland is still in a technical state of war with our Soviet and British allies. You will conduct yourself accordingly especially in your relations with Finnish officials. Should Mr. Procopé,16 Mr. Vahervuori17 or Mr. Solanko18 endeavor to communicate with you you will bear in mind that they were expelled from the United States for “activities inimical to the interests of the United States”.19

In the light of the foregoing you will appreciate that your functions will be the representation and protection of American interests in Finland and you will be guided accordingly in your relations with the Allied Control Commission and your informal relations with the Finnish authorities.

The missions at Moscow, London and Stockholm are instructed to communicate the substance of this telegram to the British, Soviet and [Page 630] Swedish Governments respectively. You should inform the Soviet and British Ministers20 in Stockholm. You should keep in close touch with the Soviet Minister and should not leave for Helsinki until you are certain that the Soviet authorities in and en route to Helsinki have been apprised of your mission and have made arrangements to facilitate your travel including the extension to you and to the members of your staff of the customary diplomatic courtesies and privileges.

The Finnish Legation in Stockholm should not be informed of plans for the establishment of the mission at Helsinki and you should not request or accept Finnish visas for your passport or for the passports of the members of your staff.

At the appropriate time Department plans to make announcement in Washington of the establishment of the mission and hopes that in the meantime the matter will be kept secret by all concerned.

Sent to Stockholm, repeated to Moscow as Department’s no. 2787 and to London as Department’s no. 10168.

  1. Carl J. Enckell.
  2. Karl Egger.
  3. Hjalmar J. Procopé, formerly Minister of Finland to the United States.
  4. Torsten O. Vahervuori, formerly Counselor of the Finnish Legation in the United States.
  5. Risto Solanko, formerly Counselor of the Finnish Legation in the United States.
  6. See telegram 117, June 16, to Helsinki, p. 600.
  7. Madame Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontay, and Victor A. L. Mallet, respectively.