3. Editorial Note

On December 4, 1957, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Zorin handed Ambassador Thompson an aide-mémoire protesting demonstrations outside the Soviet Mission at the United Nations. The aide-mémoire referred specifically to disturbances on October 23 and November 7, alleging that U.S. authorities had not taken appropriate steps to prevent them, despite having previously promised to do so. It stated further that a Mission employee had been assaulted during the November 7 incident. The aide-mémoire asserted that the disturbances had violated the Mission’s diplomatic immunity, and noted that Soviet resentment about the protests might incite similar demonstrations at the Embassy in Moscow. For text, see telegram 1033 from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, volume XI, page 257.

The Department of State sent the Embassy a draft response in telegram 700, December 30. (Department of State, Central Files, 310.361/12–457) The Embassy suggested an addition to the text (telegram 1159, December 31; ibid., 310.361/12–3157), with which the Department concurred. (Telegram 711, January 2, 1958; ibid.)

On January 3, 1958, the Embassy reported that it had delivered the aide-mémoire to Zorin. (Telegram 1174, January 3; ibid., 310.361/1–358) The aide-mémoire stated that the United States was unaware of any interference experienced by the Soviet Mission in carrying out its activities, or of any violation of the Mission’s diplomatic immunity. Police records, it continued, did not support Soviet contentions that appropriate measures had not been taken to prevent the incidents, or that a Mission employee had been assaulted. The aide-mémoire concluded [Page 5] by noting that the U.S. Government could not interfere with its citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. A copy is ibid.