124.61/10–1245: Telegram

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

2133. In view of indications that permission is now being granted for Soviet wives of foreigners in Moscow to renounce Soviet citizenship, you are requested to press strongly with SovForOff for action on remaining cases with view to early departure from Soviet Union of all remaining wives of members of Embassy staff and of military personnel. In addition to case of Mrs. Collins, Dept understands that favorable action has also been taken on Mrs. Jacques and that several Soviet wives of British personnel were recently released. Dept is [Page 1157]under constant pressure in these cases, particularly regarding Mrs. Uskiewicz and Mrs. Tolley.

Hirshfield has sent frantic telegram to President complaining that visas are being issued in cases more recent than his and requesting President’s personal intercession in his behalf. This telegram has been referred to Dept for appropriate action. Hirshfield is well aware that question of granting exit visas for his wife is not a matter over which the President or USGov has any control. He is fully aware of the continued efforts which have been made in endeavoring to obtain the release of all Soviet wives of American citizens. If, for reasons of its own, the SovGov has not yet seen fit to include his wife among those who have received exit permits it is not through any lack of interest on the part of this Gov in his wife’s case. You may take such appropriate steps as you see fit in explaining this to Hirshfield.

In view of manpower shortage Dept during war years permitted Embassy personnel marrying Soviet citizens to continue service in Moscow until wives were able to leave. With end of hostilities and renewed availability of competent replacements Dept henceforth will transfer promptly any personnel marrying Soviet citizens in view of reduced usefulness to Embassy which such marriages entail. Please bring foregoing to attention of all members of your staff and make Dept’s policy clear to newly arrived personnel.

Byrnes