711.94114 Mail/52: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

525. Department approves Embassy’s proposal to request Soviet authorities to turn over prisoner of war mail received from Teheran to Soviet postal authorities for onward transmission to Japan (Embassy’s 687, February 29).66

Embassy should take this opportunity to discuss again with Soviet authorities the routing of prisoner of war mails from United States to Far East via the Soviet Union. Discussion should be carried on in light of the assurance of the Soviet Government that it is ready to cooperate in the transmission of mail to prisoners of war and civilian internees in Far East (Embassy’s 1915, November 11);67 the agreement between the United States and Japan for the exchange of prisoner of war and civilian internee mail (Department’s 1357, December 7, 1943);68 and the fact that British prisoner of war correspondence has been sent to the Far East since 1942, going from the United Kingdom to Moscow, via the Arctic or Persia. Soviet postal authorities have assured the British postal authorities that such mails are reforwarded without delay to Shimonoseki. British prisoner of war mails destined for Far East via the Soviet Union have been enclosed in mails addressed to Moscow labeled via Abadan, [Page 1163] Bandar,69 Pahlevi.70 Clarification should be obtained from the Soviet authorities on the following points:

The route to be followed in the future by prisoner of war and civilian internee mail for the Far East (including mail from Japanese nationals held in United States) arriving in Teheran by air from the United States, including proper routing to be used hereafter by United States postal authorities in dispatching such mail. If such information is obtained, inform Teheran.
Government of the United States desires to suggest to Japanese Government that prisoner of war and civilian internee mail from Far East to United States (including mail for Japanese nationals held in the United States) be routed through Soviet Union to Teheran so that it may be carried to United States by air. This route would replace present route for such mail from Japan which is understood to be via Soviet Union to Switzerland and thence to United States. Ascertain whether Soviet authorities have objection.
Government of United States would appreciate receiving information concerning present status of proposed use of route from West Coast to Vladivostok for prisoner of war mails destined for Far East. (Department’s 617, July 28).71

Arrangements to fly mail to Teheran were made by United States postal authorities through postal channels in accordance with normal custom of postal administrations.

Department fully concurs in recommendation of American Legation Teheran that our unfortunate nationals in the Far East are entitled to the fullest measure of our determination to leave no stone unturned in endeavoring to get mail to and from them. If appeal in highest quarters is necessary please give Department your urgent recommendations in this respect.