861.20211 Gubitchev, Valentine/3–1949: Telegram

The Charge in the Soviet Union (Kohler) to the Secretary of State


700. Deputy Foreign Minister Gromyko1 called me2 in this afternoon re Gubitchev case, especially to protest alleged failure Dept reply to aide-mémoire left by Soviet Ambassador Panyushkin “2 weeks ago”. He then reiterated Soviet Govt claim arrest arbitrary, illegal in view Gubitchev diplomatic status recognized by issuance American diplomatic visa on diplomatic passport.

I promised immediately inform my government his démarche and trusted reply would be promptly forthcoming. Added, however, I desired correct his misunderstanding re Gubitchev’s status in US, with particular reference to visa issued, which had also been erroneously referred to in Soviet press as “diplomatic”. Then explained carefully special 3(7) visa for UN functionaries, carrying with it only UN and not diplomatic status. This led to long discussion status UN and employees during which Gromyko willfully pretended misunderstand my explanations. Finally appearing get these, he declared Soviet Govt could not accept unilateral US legislation or interpretation status UN functionaries which altered international law and practice hundred years standing. He insisted UN status could not be [Page 781] exclusive but must rather be additional to diplomatic status indicated by diplomatic passport.

  1. Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko was First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  2. Foy D. Kohler was Counselor of Embassy in the Soviet Union with rank of Minister, at times Chargé d’Affaires.