Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Hickerson)

The Netherlands Ambassador1 came in to see me today at my request. I referred to his call on me on March 26 about diplomatic representatives from “Iron Curtain” countries.2 I informed the Ambassador that the US Government after much thought on this question concluded that most diplomatic personnel from Iron Curtain countries are potential agents; and that to refuse appointees whose adverse record is known would merely lead to the assignment of other and equally undesirable representatives about whom this Government has no adverse information. Accordingly, I continued, it has been our practice to receive proposed appointees from Iron Curtain countries without question but to keep an eye on them after they get here.

If such personnel are found to be engaging in activities which we consider objectionable, their withdrawal is requested. I told the Ambassador that we had recently declared persona non grata two members [Page 319]of the Czech Embassy and a chauffeur at the Rumanian Legation. I informed the Ambassador that in these circumstances there did not seem to be much point to our considering the exchange of information about such requests from Iron Curtain countries with the Netherlands Government. I added that in any given case the Ambassador could feel free to inquire of me if he wished whether we had information in regard to particular individuals. He expressed his appreciation.

J[ohn] D. H[ickerson]
  1. Eelco van Kleffens.
  2. Ambassador van Kleffens called on Hickerson on March 26 to inquire secretly and informally about requests from “Iron Curtain” countries that the Netherlands Government receive ardent communists as diplomatic representatives from those countries. (701.0011/3–2648)