811.42700 (R)/1–1047: Telegram

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

secret   urgent

55. Deptel 2, January 2, repeated Berlin 4, Munich 3.2 I am of the opinion that it would be both unnecessary and undesirable to make a point of informing Soviet Govt of forthcoming inauguration our Russian language broadcasts. It is my understanding that through negotiations re transmission channel frequencies before ACC Berlin, Russians have in fact official knowledge of our intentions. (Deptel 2132, December 12, [1946,] 6 p.m., repreated Berlin 2457, Munich 4673). To make official communication to Soviet authorities here would afford them opening for present or future discussion as well as putting US Govt in position of making unnecessary justification of something which otherwise in light of established European practice may be taken for granted. Soviet Govt has for years made world broadcasts in English language from transmitters originally announced as “radio Comintern” but more recently identified simply as “radio Moscow”. As far as Embassy is aware Soviet Govt has never approached us or any other government with respect to its dozens of foreign language radio broadcasts.

Dept might wish to consider probability of gesture similar to that made by British at inauguration of their Russian language broadcasts when they invited Gussev,4 the then Soviet Ambassador in London, to say a few words on first program; British, however, did not make any formal notification to Soviet Govt.

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I hope Dept will agree with my proposal not to raise question with the Soviet Govt unless a spontaneous opportunity should present itself so to do.

Repeated Berlin as 11, Munich as 1.

  1. Not printed. Herein the Embassy was informed that the Voice of America broadcasts in the Russian language to the Soviet Union were expected to begin during January. The Embassy was told that in its discretion it could officially inform the Soviet Government of this prospect. (811.42700(R)/12–1146)
  2. Not printed; but see telegram 2096 to Moscow on December 6, 1946; Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 816.
  3. Fedor Tarasovich Gusev (Gusyev), Ambassador of the Soviet Union in the United Kingdom, 1943–1946.