740.61112A/3–845: Telegram

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

672. ReEmb’s 538, February 24, 1 p.m. Kennan and General Spalding26 have had an interview with Kumykin, head of the Trade Agreements Section of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade concerning Soviet recognition of the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists. Kennan described our plans for postwar continuance of the Proclaimed List and said there were two concrete questions which we wished clarified: (1) Would the Soviet Government be prepared to recognize the list in its commercial dealings and (2) to what extent would it wish to make recommendations on the composition of the list.

Kumykin replied that this matter had never before been raised officially with the Soviet Government and there were consequently several questions which he would like to ask with respect to the Proclaimed List. He proceeded to put the following 12 questions. We are unable to give an authoritative reply to most of these questions, and I would therefore appreciate the Department’s assistance in answering them.

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We have passed on the questions to the British Embassy, which is telegraphing them to London with a request for pertinent information concerning the British Statutory List. The British Embassy is suggesting that London’s reply to it on the Statutory List be coordinated with the Department’s reply to us on the Proclaimed List, in order to avoid any conflict in what we and they tell the Russians. Questions follow:

What is the legal basis of the Proclaimed List, what principles were applied in drawing it up, and what criteria governed listing of this or that individual firm.
What types of specific data were considered in deciding on a listing.
What agency of the United States Government handles the Proclaimed List.
Are the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists identical.
Is the consent of both American and British Governments now required for the listing of a firm.
What is the listing procedure.
On what principles will the list be revised for the postwar period.
Does the present list include firms of the former satellites registered in neutral or Allied countries, or firms which dealt with the former satellite countries. If so, could they be segregated into a separate list.
Would it be possible to segregate from the present list Japanese firms and firms of neutral countries listed because they were assisting Japan.
How completely does the list encompass German firms in neutral countries and other firms in such countries that have traded with the Axis.
Has consideration been given to the inclusion in the list of German and German-controlled firms in countries now or formerly occupied by Germany.
The list includes firms in many countries which have long been at war with Germany. Presumably the laws in those countries, like the laws of the United States and Great Britain, deprive enemy aliens of the right to use their property and progeny for the liquidation of enemy firms. In these circumstances how can such firms continue to exist and do business in countries at war with Germany.
  1. Brig. Gen. Sidney P. Spalding, Head of Supply Division of American Military Mission in the Soviet Union.