125.677/4–2345: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

1313. ReEmbs 1290, April 21, 5 p.m.89 In view of the opening of Odessa to US citizens proceeding to the Soviet Union it is likely that that port will soon become the major transit point for American personnel, baggage, effects, mail, and supplies coming to this mission. Because of increasing problems connected with American ships and personnel proceeding to and from Odessa Admiral Olsen90 strongly recommends that some provision be made for stationing of a State Department representative there. He adds that his WSA91 representatives now stationed there will have difficulty in looking after State Department interests on the scale expected to develop. I personally feel that maximum use should be made of the Odessa facilities for communication between this mission and the US and that the establishment of a Vice Consulate there would be desirable. I therefore suggest that the Department discuss with Ambassador Harriman92 the advisability of this.

If we decide to request Soviet authority for the establishment of a Consular office in Odessa we should of course be prepared to limit the Consular district to the city of Odessa as was done in the case of Vladivostok.93 It might prove feasible to assign our new language students to Odessa on a rotation basis.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Rear Adm. Clarence E. Olsen, Naval member of the U. S. Military Mission in the Soviet Union.
  3. War Shipping Administration.
  4. Ambassador Harriman was on a visit to the United States.
  5. For documentation regarding the establishment of the Consulate General at Vladivostok, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. iii, pp. 460 ff.