123 Hamilton, Maxwell M./1–3045

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Representative to Finland (Hamilton), Temporarily in Washington


Sir: The following is for your information and guidance in connection with the assumption of your duties at Helsinki:

The President has appointed you90 as “Representative of the United States of America in Finland, with the personal rank of Minister”. You should proceed to Helsinki immediately upon the termination of your period of consultation in the Department and upon your arrival should take charge of the “United States Mission in Finland”. While in Helsinki you will have the title of and sign yourself as “Representative of the United States of America in Finland”.

The basic purpose of your mission is to protect American interests in Finland until normal diplomatic relations are reestablished between the United States and Finland. You should therefore make clear to the Finnish, Soviet and British authorities in Finland and to other [Page 628] interested persons that the presence of your Mission does not constitute a resumption of diplomatic or consular relations between the United States and Finland.

Immediately upon your arrival in Helsinki you should call upon the principal Soviet and British members of the Allied Control Commission. Subsequently you should call informally on the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs. You may also call on the Chiefs of Mission in Helsinki of friendly and neutral countries. During each of these calls you should explain the nature of your mission.

You should arrange with the Swiss representative in Finland gradually to take over the protection of American interests to the extent that Mr. Higgs has not already done so.

. . . . . . .

You should at all times bear in mind that, although the United States and Finland have not been at war with one another, diplomatic relations between the two countries remain severed and Finland is still in a technical state of war with our Soviet and British Allies. You should conduct yourself accordingly in your relations with Finnish officials. Should Mr. Procopé, former Finnish Minister to the United States, Mr. Vahervuori or Mr. Solanko, former Counselors of the Finnish Legation in Washington, endeavor to communicate with you, you should bear in mind that they were expelled from the United States for “activities inimical to the interests of the United States”.

In the light of the foregoing, you will appreciate that your functions will be the representation and protection of American interests in Finland and you will be guided accordingly in your relations with the Allied Control Commission and in your informal relations with the Finnish authorities.

Very truly yours,

Joseph C. Grew
  1. The omitted portions of this letter deal with administrative matters.
  2. Maxwell M. Hamilton was appointed United States Representative in Finland with the personal rank of Minister on December 8, 1944; see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, pp. 626633, passim.