Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Soviet Ambassador called on me today at his request and said that his Government wishes to establish “representations” in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco. This does not mean that the Soviet Government wishes to open consulates in those places, but merely to establish offices which are very much needed in view of the fact that great amounts of Soviet supplies pass through those ports, and many questions arise with regard to these shipments. The Ambassador said he thought that such a step would be helpful also to us as he is constantly receiving letters from the Governors and Senators in the States of Oregon and Washington asking for information of one kind or another.

I said to the Ambassador that I knew of no procedure for establishing what he referred to as a “representation” and I asked him whether, if such offices were opened, they should not be in charge at least of subordinate consular officers such as a vice consul. The Ambassador replied in the affirmative and said that the purpose of his Government was to establish branch offices of the main office in San Francisco, but not to open new consulates as such.

I said I would look into this matter and let the Ambassador know as soon as possible of our attitude towards his Government’s proposal.

Joseph C. Grew