711.94114 Mail/72: Telegram

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

1555. Pursuant to the Department’s 988, April 21, 10 p.m.,77 the subject of shipments of prisoners of war mail by Soviet vessels to Vladivostok was discussed with the new chief of the American Section of the Foreign Office78 on April 28 who stated he would look into the matter.

In a previous discussion of this question another Foreign Office official confidentially expressed the personal view that the Soviet authorities were concerned that the carrying of such mail would cause difficulties with the Japanese. It was pointed out to him that this mail would in any event pass through Japanese hands and that the forwarding of such mail was in accordance with existing agreements between the Japanese and American Governments. The Soviet official stated that nevertheless he thought the Soviet authorities felt that the carrying of such mail might present an excuse for the Japanese to stop Soviet ships which the Soviet Government was anxious to avoid. He would not discuss the matter further and emphasized that he was giving a personal “impression” in confidence.

  1. Not printed; it instructed the Embassy to take up again the subject of the shipment of mail on Soviet vessels from Pacific ports of the United States to Vladivostok (711.94114 Mail/59).
  2. Semen Konstantinovich Tsarapkin had replaced Georgy Nikolayevich Zarubin as Chief of the American Section in the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.