800.01B11 Registration/11–149

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Webby)1


The Soviet Chargé handed me the attached note in regard to the Amtorg case.2 He read me a free translation of the note which requested that in view of Amtorg’s willingness to register, the United States Government drop the case brought against the Amtorg officials.

I explained at length that this was a matter which was before a United States Court and that the matter was not simply one for action by the Department of State since certain steps would have to be taken before the case could be closed. If a satisfactory registration was filed, [Page 770] the Department fully realized that a new situation would exist. I said I had already been in touch with the Attorney General and that I would inform the Department of Justice of his Government’s note. There would still remain the fact that there had been a violation of United States’ laws and there would be the problem of how the case now before the Court could be closed. This was a matter which I suggested the Amtorg lawyers should discuss with the Department of Justice. There were various ways in which the matter might be dealt with. If Amtorg were willing to take the necessary steps, I believed that the matter could be handled expeditiously, but I emphasized that under our system of Government, it was not possible for the Administration “to drop” a case which was before the Courts except in some legal manner which the Department of Justice would discuss with the Amtorg lawyers.

With respect to the reference that a short time had elapsed between the delivery of the State Department Note and the action against the Amtorg officials, the Chargé was reminded that the Department of Justice had been demanding the registration of Amtorg over a period of several years.

In the close of the interview, I assured Mr. Bazykin that I would be glad to discuss again this matter with the Department of Justice, but said I felt that it was up to the Amtorg lawyers and the Department of Justice to work the matter out, and I was sure that the Department of Justice would cooperate to the best of its ability in disposing of the case.

  1. Llewellyn E. Thompson also was present during the conversation with the Chargé Vladimir Ivanovich Bazykin.
  2. Supra.