The Secretary of State to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union (Panyushkin)
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note No. 18 of January 31, 1948 agreeing to the return to the Government of the United States of the eight lend-lease merchant vessels requested in my note of December 11, 1947.
Delivery of the tanker Krasnaya Armiya will be accepted by the Government of the United States immediately in the port of Hong Kong by a United States representative who will be duly accredited by the Consul General in that port. Delivery of the tanker Elbruz will be accepted between February 10 and 15 in the port of Trieste by a United States representative who will be duly accredited by the United States Political Adviser to the Commander, British-United States Zone of the Free Territory of Trieste. A further communication will be forwarded to you within the next several days concerning arrangements for delivery to the Government of the United States of the tankers Emba, Belgorod, Apsheron, Maikop and Taganrog and the dry cargo vessel Lev Tolstoi.[Page 969]
It is desired to point out to Your Excellency that, while the Government of the United States agrees to accept the return of these particular vessels in other than United States ports, this action should not constitute a precedent in interpreting the phrase in the Agreement of June 11, 1942 whereby the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics undertook to return lend-lease articles to the United States of America.