125.677/7–2145: Telegram

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

2624. Re Department’s 1635, July 18. In view falling off of American shipping to Odessa I quite agree that question of opening Consular office there should not be activated at this time.

Department may wish to consider, however, general desirability of our eventually opening some State Department establishment somewhere in European Russia besides Moscow, if suitable opportunity arises. While American officials stationed in provincial Russian cities would doubtless be extensively cut off from personal contact with local officials and population, nevertheless mere maintenance of such offices would enable us to do something toward breaking down existing restrictions on travel and residence and would give us wider circle of observation than we at present enjoy.

I have not discussed this matter with Ambassador Harriman96 and it is a subject on which his views should, of course, be consulted before any definite plans are taken under consideration.

  1. Ambassador Harriman was attending the Berlin Conference; for documentation on this Conference, see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, 2 vols.