861.20211 Gubitchev, Valentine/3–849


The Embassy of the Soviet Union to the Department of State 1


On March 4 a Soviet diplomat, an employee of the Secretariat of the United Nations, V. A. Gubitchev, was arrested by American authorities in New York. According to press reports, V. A. Gubitchev is charged with the commission of some crime in which connection his case has been transferred to judicial organs.

As a result of a meeting which representatives of the Embassy and of the Soviet Delegation to the United Nations, Soldatov2 and Tolokonnikov3 had on March 5 with V. A. Gubitchev, it appeared that V. A. Gubitchev was seized on a street at nine o’clock in the evening of March 4 by six unknown people and was forcibly taken in an automobile to the premises of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the city of New York. Here he was immediately subjected to an interrogation which lasted until eleven o’clock of the morning of March 5.

In the course of the investigation such questions were put to V. A. Gubitchev as, for example, where in the USSR he built military structures before the war and during the war; is he a member of the Communist Party; what does he know about concentration camps and “forced labor” in the USSR and does he consider possible a change in foreign policy of the USSR and such like.

The character of these question shows, that the interrogation of V. A. Gubitchev evidently pursued the aim of acquiring information about the Soviet Union of interest to the American authorities.

The actions of the American authorities as evidenced in the arrest of V. A. Gubitchev are illegal and represent an arbitrary act inasmuch as the charges advanced against him are groundless.

The actions of the American authorities are also illegal because the elementary generally recognized norms of international law, which guarantee personal immunity of persons in diplomatic service were [Page 779] violated by the arrest of V. A. Gubitchev, who has the diplomatic rank of Third Secretary.

The State Department knows that V. A. Gubitchev entered the United States with a Soviet diplomatic passport on diplomatic visa no. 202 issued by the Embassy of the USA in Moscow on June 24, 1946. Having formally admitted V. A. Gubitchev into the United States on a diplomatic visa, the official organs of the USA thereby recognized his diplomatic status.

In view of the foregoing the Embassy insists on the immediate release of V. A. Gubitchev.

  1. This document from the Embassy of the Soviet Union was delivered by messenger to the office of the Secretary of State at noon on March 9. In a conversation with Ambassador Panyushkin, who referred to the nature of the questioning of Gubichev, Secretary of State Acheson replied: “I said I was surprised to hear the statement that any such questions had been asked and that I would cause an immediate investigation to be made, I also passed on to the Ambassador Mr. Rusk’s statement that our preliminary investigation showed that the Ambassador had been misinformed and that no such questions were asked. I repeated, however, that I would obtain a thorough report.” The Ambassador asked that the Secretary would “examine the case objectively,” which he promised to do.
  2. Alexander Alexeyevich Soldatov was a counselor, and later senior counselor, of the Permanent Representation of the Soviet Union at the United Nations.
  3. Lev Sergeyevich Tolokonnikov was First Secretary of the Embassy of the Soviet Union and subsequently Chief of the Consular Division.