Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Perkins ) to the Secretary of State


Subject: Request of Chiefs of Mission of Baltic States for interview


With the approval and support of his two Baltic colleagues, the Lithuanian Minister1 called at the Department on June 12 to say that the chiefs of mission of the three Baltic States would very much appreciate an opportunity as early as convenient after June 15 to call jointly on you for the purpose of expressing the thanks of the inhabitants [Page 353] of their respective countries for the policy consistently followed during the past ten years by the United States toward Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This summer will mark the end of the tenth year of the incorporation of the three Baltic States by the Soviet Union—an action which the United States has never recognized. These States have no governments-in-exile, but the United States has continued to recognize their diplomatic and consular representatives in this country.

The Baltic States were among the first independent states of Europe to fall under Soviet control, and during the past decade their diplomatic representatives in this country have striven quietly but valiantly to keep the plight of their countries before the Government and people of the United States. They always respond vigorously to any action or policy of this Government which they feel might be interpreted as a modification or a relaxation of our long-established policy toward their countries. They have been grateful for the support given by the United States to the Convention on Genocide2 and they are pleased at the prospect, if the 1951 Budget permits, of broadcasts by the Voice of America to the inhabitants of the three countries.

The reception of the three Baltic diplomats by you would be a step of some significance at this time. It might well provoke a propaganda outburst from the USSR and the satellites, but it would be in line with our undeviating policy of non-recognition of the absorption of these states by their more powerful neighbor. Their reception would be a friendly gesture underlining and reaffirming our policy and would bring some hope and encouragement not only to the long suffering Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians, but also to the peoples of other nations now enslaved by the USSR.


If you approve and can possibly spare the time, it is recommended that the three Baltic chiefs of mission be received jointly for a brief interview some time between June 15 and the end of that month.3

  1. Povilas Zadeikas.
  2. See footnote 2, p. 342.
  3. According to a memorandum of August 7 by Harold C. Vedeler, Office of Eastern European Affairs, not printed, an appointment for the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Chiefs of Mission with the Secretary of State was arranged for June 30. The appointment was, however, postponed due to the press of business arising from the Korean crisis.