861.404/556a: Telegram

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

198. Towards the end of September last year a request was made of the President on behalf of the Order of Assumptionists, the Catholic Order of which Father Braun65 in Moscow is a member, to have this Government take up with the Soviet Government the question of permission for a priest to go to the Soviet Union to act as assistant to Father Braun. After reference to the Department it was decided that in view of the imminent opening of the Moscow Conference66 the moment was not propitious to take this question up with the Soviet Government. This request has now been renewed to the Department by the Provincial of the Order of the Assumptionists who wishes to [Page 1212] send the Reverend G. Antonio Laberge, an American citizen, to Moscow to assist Father Braun in his religious duties.

If you perceive no objection, you are authorized to bring this request to the attention of the Soviet Government in the manner which you think most suitable. Please report by telegram the reaction of the Soviet authorities to this request.

  1. Leopold Braun, an American citizen, arrived in Moscow during March 1934 to take charge of the Church of Saint Louis of France, the only Catholic church in Moscow.
  2. Conference of Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, held October 18–November 1, 1943; for correspondence on the Conference, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 513 ff.