30. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 1

3311. Embtel 3241.2 Microphone system presently being uncovered in offices and apartments is extensive, with 17 active microphones confirmed to date and possibility that total of 39 installations will be discovered. We recommend that strong protest, accompanied by photographs, be lodged with MFA over microphones. It is realized, of course, that there are other agency interests to consider before protest is made and therefore request Dept consider and advise soonest.

In its protest, Embassy would plan (1) make factual presentation of microphone installations which have been discovered (2) protest these as flagrant violations accepted norms diplomatic practice (3) request cessation this type activity directed against Embassy. Advise any other points Department may wish to include.3

Question of taking initiative in publicizing microphone discovery, and timing of such publicity, is something Dept is in best position to [Page 73]decide in light past practices such matters. However, it should be borne in mind that virtually entire Embassy staff is aware of microphone discovery and there may well be inadvertent leak to local US correspondents in Moscow, even though all hands have been cautioned to maintain strict security on subject. Regardless decision on whether to publicize at convenient time, consideration should be given now to line for use in event story leaks.

Appreciate Dept’s guidance on this point.

Kohler
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, BG 16–10 MOSCOW. Secret; Limdis.
  2. No copy of this telegram, April 23, has been found, but presumably it transmitted the initial report on the discovery of microphones in the Embassy’s walls.
  3. In telegram 3190 to Moscow, May 4, the Department of State authorized the delivery of a written protest along the lines suggested in this paragraph. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, BG 16–10, Moscow)