264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./3–1350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary


119. Dept believes, subject your concurrence, it wld be desirable you seek in near future further interview with Rakosi re situation Vogeler.

If interview granted, you shld emphasize to Rakosi (1) that Amer public and officials continue feel deepest concern over Vogeler affair; (2) that US Govt, of whose clear position in matter Hung Govt well aware, will in no circumstances consider case closed until Vogeler released and permitted depart Hung; and (3) that Hung Govt, if it insists on holding Vogeler, wld only perpetuate factor which has so gravely affected relations with US. You should then cite US treatment Gubitchev1 and express hope Rakosi, for considerations of political realism as well as of humanity, will see way clear at early date apply similar procedure case Vogeler.

Dept wld appreciate receiving your views whether this approach shld be made before or after action by court on Vogeler’s appeal. Dept inclined to feel, in view likelihood continuing deterioration US-Hung relations, approach should not be long delayed.

In this connection Dept is also considering advisability request to Sov Govt to intercede with Hung Govt on behalf release and deportation Vogeler. Such request wld be predicated upon our action re Gubitchev in which SecState complied with request made to him [Page 999] personally last fall by Vishinsky.2 We wld not be optimistic as to success such request but wld naturally wish exhaust every appropriate possibility. Request to Sovs wld not be made until after your further interview with Rakosi.

Repeated Vienna as 417; London 1131; Moscow 207.

  1. Valentin Alekseyevich Gubichev (Gubitchev), a Soviet citizen employed by the United Nations in New York, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in March 1919 on charges of espionage. He was convicted of the charges by a Federal court, and on March 9, 1950, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. At the recommendation of the Departments of State and Justice, Gubichev’s sentence was suspended by the court on condition that he be deported from the United States. Secretary of State Acheson informed Soviet Ambassador Aleksandr Semyenovich Panyushkin of the decision on March 10, and Gubichev departed from the United States on March 20. Documentation on the rejection of the claim to diplomatic immunity for Valentin Gubichev, arrested and tried for espionage, 1949–1950, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. v, pp. 776 ff.
  2. In telegrams 149, March 30, and 154, April 1, to Budapest, repeated to Moscow as 268 and 281, neither printed, the Department of State acknowledged that the reference in this sentence was a regrettable confusion of the Gubichev case and its resolution (see footnote 1, above) and similar earlier matters involving Soviet Foreign Minister Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky. In a conversation with the Secretary of State in Washington on November 7, 1949, Vyshinsky discussed the case of officials of the Soviet Amtorg Trading Corporation in New York arrested by American authorities under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Vyshinsky pointed out that the Soviet officials had been instructed to register under the terms of the Act and asked Secretary Acheson to do what he could to end the criminal prosecution in the case. Following Vyshinsky’s visit and as a result of the efforts of Secretary Acheson, the indictments against the Amtorg officials were quashed and they were released from arrest (761.5211/3–3050 and 761.5211 Gubichev, Valentin A.). The record of the Acheson–Vyshinsky conversation and other information on the compulsory registration of the Amtorg Trading Corporation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, is presented in Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. v, pp. 771 and 754, respectively.