The Secretary of State to the Attorney General (Biddle)

My Dear Mr. Attorney General: I have received your letter of April 8 concerning the case of Mr. Victor A. Kravchenko, who recently severed his connection with the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission. You point out that under Section 15, as amended, of the Immigration Act of May 26, 1924 no alien who has been an official of a foreign government admitted into the United States under clause (1) of section 3 of the Immigration Act “shall be required to depart from the United States without the approval of the Secretary of State”. In view of the publicity which the Kravchenko case has received, you request a statement of my position in regard to the matter.

Up to the present the Department of State has merely been notified by the Soviet Embassy that Mr. Kravchenko is no longer in the employ of the Soviet Government and is regarded as a deserter from the Soviet armed forces. As a result of this information from the Soviet Embassy Kravchenko’s registry with the Department of State as an official of a foreign government has been canceled. Up to the present, however, the Department of State has received no request from the Soviet Government for his deportation back to the Soviet Union.13

Under the circumstances therefore, in so far as the Department of State is concerned, there would appear to be no reason for any request [Page 1230] from this Department looking towards his deportation from the United States. Should at some time in the future an official request be received from the Soviet Government for his deportation to the Soviet Union the matter can be considered in the light of such request.

If in your opinion, in view of the circumstances of the case, United States law and practice would appear to require his departure from the United States irrespective of destination, I would of course be glad to give due consideration to your recommendation in the premises.

Cordell Hull
  1. See infra. This letter to the Attorney General appears to have been drafted on April 29, and to have been despatched before receipt of the Soviet aide-mémoire dated May 6.