The Ambassador of the Soviet Union ( Panyushkin ) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs ( Thorp )

Translation confidential
No. 18

Sir: In connection with your letters of January 17 and 23, 1948 in which the desire of the Government of the USA is expressed that the question of the eight merchant vessels mentioned in your note of December 11, 1947 not be included in the negotiations for the Lend-Lease settlement, I inform you that the Government of the Soviet [Page 968] Union has given instructions to the competent Soviet authorities in regard to handing over to the appropriate American authorities these eight vessels.

The transfer of these vessels to American representatives may be carried out in the following ports on the dates indicated below:

The tanker “Krasnaya Armiya” in Hong Kong where it is located at the present time, between February 1–9.
The tanker “Elbrus” in Trieste between February 10 and 15.
The remaining six vessels—in one of the ports of South Korea on the following dates:

“Elba” [Emba] and “Belgorod”—between February 20–29, “Apsheron” and “Maikop”—between March 1–10, “Taganrog” and “Lev Tolstoy”—between March 10–15.

In addition it is proposed that the transfer of the ships take place by means of a brief bill of receipt with an enclosed inventory list.

The transfer has been entrusted to the captains of these vessels.

I should be grateful for information as to which of the ports of South Korea is more convenient to the Government of the US for receiving these vessels as well as who will be empowered to accept these vessels in behalf of the U.S.

Accept [etc.]

A. Panyushkin