033.1161 Johnston, Eric/2a: Telegram

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

757. Personal for the Ambassador. About 6 weeks ago Eric Johnston during a personal call on the Under Secretary mentioned that when he had seen Oumansky45 in Mexico the latter had suggested that he visit the Soviet Union. At that time Johnston said that he had received no specific invitation and was not certain whether it would be possible for him to make the trip even if he were to receive such an invitation. He was told in general that the Department would have no objection in principle to his visiting the Soviet Union in response to an invitation from the Soviet Government.46 It was suggested to him and he wholeheartedly agreed that while he was in the Soviet Union he would place himself entirely in your hands and be guided by your suggestions as to what he should say or do while in Moscow. No further specific information was received from Johnston prior to the press announcement that he intended to make a brief visit to the Soviet Union in the middle of May. Following the announcement Johnston called on me and I took occasion to emphasize the importance of keeping in touch with you.

I am sure that Mr. Johnston intends to be guided entirely by your advice in regard to any conversations which he may have in Moscow on postwar trade and related matters of interest to American business [Page 958] and under those circumstances we consider that his visit will be most helpful. We will keep you currently informed of any further developments.

  1. Konstantin Alexandrovich Umansky, Soviet Ambassador in Mexico; formerly Ambassador in the United States, 1939–1941.
  2. Ambassador Gromyko later extended an official invitation to Johnston.