Memorandum by the Chief of Protocol (Woodward) to Mr. Matthew J. Connolly, Secretary to President Truman 1

The Lithuanian Minister2 has requested that he and his Estonian and Latvian colleagues3 be received in the near future by the President for the purpose of presenting a memorandum regarding the present and future status of the Baltic States. The memorandum, a copy of which is attached,4 recites the various illegal acts of the Soviet Government in the liquidation and “Russification” of the three independent countries and appeals to the President:

To refrain from recognizing the annexation of the States by the Soviet Union.
To assist in restoring the exercise of their sovereign rights.
To save the Baltic peoples from complete extermination.
To consent to the despatching of a control commission of the allied powers to the three States.
To continue to aid Baltic displaced persons.

The delicate nature of our relations with the U.S.S.R. at present makes it advisable to avoid any further complications. At present this matter is not being agitated, and it is believed that it would not be in the interest of the Baltic representatives themselves to take any steps which might provide a change in this situation.

The Department considers it inadvisable to comply with the request of the Baltic Ministers at this time, and if the President agrees they will be told that they may call at the Department and leave their [Page 397] petition here, probably with the Assistant Secretary, Norman Armour, if they wish to do so.

Please return the enclosure for the Department’s files.

Stanley Woodward
  1. This memorandum was sent in accordance with a recommendation made by John D. Hickerson, Director, Office of European Affairs, in a memorandum of January 6, 1948, not printed, which was approved by Assistant Secretary of State Norman Armour.

    In a reply to Woodward dated January 27, 1948, not printed, Presidential Secretary Connally agreed with the position set forth in this memorandum. (860M.00/1–2748)

  2. Povilas Zadeikis.
  3. Johannes Kaiv, Acting Consul General of Estonia, and Alfred Bilmanis, Latvian Minister.
  4. The memorandum, dated September 8, 1947, and signed by 53 Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian political leaders in exile, is not printed.