The Acting Secretary of State to the Attorney General (Biddle)

My Dear Mr. Attorney General: I thank you for your letter of January 5, 1945 relative to the case of Victor A. Kravchenko.

I note that it is your opinion that the only lawful methods by which a Soviet national may be apprehended and deported from this country are either extradition or deportation under the immigration laws. Since there is no extradition treaty between this Government and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the first method would not appear to be applicable to this case.

I also note that you refer to the Soviet Ambassador’s statement that Kravchenko was on active military service in the Red Army but you indicate that his status in this country was and is not a military one. The Ambassador has been asked to clarify his statement in this regard and to submit further evidence in support of the premise that Kravchenko is in fact a deserter from the Red Army.

With reference to the question raised in the last paragraph of your letter regarding an arrangement with Canada, Great Britain and Mexico for the return of deserters from the military forces of these countries, I have looked into this matter and have learned that the State Department has not assisted in the conclusion of any such agreement. If such an informal arrangement exists, it was probably concluded by the military authorities of the United States.

I shall immediately pass on to you any information which the Soviet Ambassador submits with respect to Kravchenko.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph C. Grew