123 Higgs, L. Randolph: Telegram

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

5122. Higgs saw Madame Kollontay this afternoon at her request. She informed him that she only wanted to tell him that she was still awaiting a reply from Moscow regarding the ATC25 flight to Finland (my 5097, December 13, noon;26 repeated to Moscow as my 47) and remarked that Moscow’s delay in replying to her cable was undoubtedly due to the fact that Moscow “had so many other things to deal with at the moment”.

Though cordial throughout, she clearly showed no disposition to listen to Higgs’ exposition of the purposes of the proposed United States mission in Finland (Department’s 2434, December 5, 3 p.m.; [Page 632] repeated to Moscow as 2787) or otherwise to discuss the mission. She interrupted Higgs’ explanation of the reasons why it was more feasible from our point of view for the mission to arrive in Finland at a Russian airport by saying that she fully understood our line of reasoning.

It would seem fairly clear upon the basis of our discussions so far with the Soviet Legation here that if the departure of the mission is to be expedited (Department’s 2503, December 13, 8 p.m.;27 repeated to Moscow as 2829 and my 5097, December 13, noon to Department), instructions must come from Moscow.

My 49, December 14, 6 p.m. repeats this to Moscow.

  1. Air Transport Command (U.S.). The American Government had arranged for an ATC plane to transport Higgs and his staff to Helsinki upon approval by the Soviet Government.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.