The Secretary of State to the Attorney General (Biddle)

My Dear Mr. Attorney General: I refer to your letter of April 8, 1944 and the Department’s reply thereto dated May 6, 1944 regarding the case of Victor A. Kravchenko, who entered the United States as an employee of the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission and severed his connection with that organization on or about April 3, 1944.

As it was stated in the Department’s letter of May 6, the Soviet Embassy has informed the Department that Mr. Kravchenko is no longer connected with the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission and is regarded as a deserter from the Soviet armed forces; and, in turn, Mr. Kravchenko’s registry with the Department of State as an official of a foreign government has been cancelled. As far as the Department of State was concerned, at the time its letter of May 6 was addressed to you there appeared to be no reason for raising the question of Mr. Kravchenko’s deportation from the United States. On May 6 the Soviet Ambassador addressed a note to the Department requesting the deportation of Mr. Kravchenko as a deserter from active military service in the Soviet Army. Subsequently, as the result of informal conversations, it appeared that the Soviet Government was prepared to let this request lapse for an indefinite period. Therefore, no further action was taken by the Department in this matter. However, the Soviet Ambassador has now submitted an aide-mémoire, a translation of which is attached,36 to the Department renewing the Soviet Government’s request for the deportation of Mr. Kravchenko to the Soviet Union.

I desire to point out that since Mr. Kravchenko no longer has the status in this country of an official of a foreign government, the Department of State therefore would have no ground for interposing objection to any legal proceedings which the Department of Justice would find applicable to his case in accordance with United States law and practice.

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I would appreciate being informed of the action which the Department of Justice proposes to take in this case, in order that I may inform the Soviet Ambassador with regard thereto.

Sincerely yours,

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
  1. Ante, p. 1235.