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


Subject: Further action in the Field case1


Dr. Elsie Field (Mrs. Doob), a sister of Hermann and Noel Field, has pressed the Department for some time for stronger action in the Field case, particularly with respect to Hermann. In the company of Dean Hunsaker, of the College of Architecture, Western Reserve University, she called recently in the Department to urge the adoption of some measure in the nature of sanctions against Czechoslovakia and Poland.2 Dr. Field has also endeavored to get press representatives interested in the matter and to enlist the assistance of certain members of Congress.

The Department has made repeated representations to the Czechoslovak and Polish Governments and has sought information in other countries without significant positive results. It is, however, not believed in conformity with our national interest to take steps against Czechoslovakia and Poland which might lead to a chain of action and counteraction ending in the curtailment of the activities of our missions in those countries or in their complete elimination in this critical time when we need to maintain observers there. Account has also been taken of the evidence accumulated during the past year to show that Noel was deeply involved in communist activities and that Hermann likewise may have well been implicated. As another step in the effort to do whatever is feasible in the circumstances, a draft text of a message of inquiry to the Soviet Government has been prepared.


It is recommended that you sign the attached draft telegram to Moscow containing the text of the proposed message for transmission to the Soviet Government.3

  1. Regarding the Field case, see instruction 199, May 4, to London, p. 20.
  2. Dr. Field (Doob) and Herbert C. Hunsaker, Dean of Cleveland College, Western Reserve University, called on Assistant Secretary of State Perkins on July 17. Perkins reviewed the difficulties of obtaining information or taking effective action in the case of Hermann Field. Dean Hunsaker and Dr. Field nevertheless insisted that the Department of State take some action against the Czechoslovak and Polish Governments and said they were considering the desirability of publicizing the matter extensively. Perkins indicated that consideration was being given to sending new notes of protest (memorandum of conversation by Harold Vedeler, July 17, 1950: 248.1122/7–1750).
  3. The proposed telegram, signed personally by Secretary of State Acheson, was sent as telegram 99. August 3, to Moscow, infra.