With reference to the memorandum which you received from Mr. Cleveland21 dated February 26th, I do not think that we should under present conditions risk a rebuff by asking for the establishment of Canadian Consulates in the Soviet Union.
Canadian Consulates in other places of the Soviet Union would be useful as observation points but apart from this there would be little for them to do. The governing consideration at the present time, however, is that the Soviet Government are not likely to accede to any requests for the opening of Canadian Consular Offices in the Soviet Union. They have not agreed to the United Kingdom re-establishing their Consulate at Leningrad. The United States have recently been asked to withdraw their Naval representatives from Archangel and Odessa and the only Consulate they are allowed to have outside of Moscow is that at Vladivostok.
Because the Soviet Government is reluctant to allow the opening of additional Consulates in the Soviet Union, they are not likely to request us for permission to open an additional Consulate in Canada. If they do, however, we should refuse their request unless the Soviet Government is prepared to give reciprocal treatment. In the unlikely event of the Soviet Government acceding to our request for reciprocal treatment, we could then reconsider the whole question and possibly select either Vladivostok, Odessa or Leningrad, in the order mentioned, as the most likely points at which we would wish to establish Canadian Consulates.
In view of the Soviet Government monopoly of trade and the extreme centralization of trading operations in Moscow, a Canadian Consulate in any other city of the Soviet Union would be of little or no use for commercial purposes. On the other hand, a Canadian Consulate at Vladivostok or Odessa might be of assistance in connection with shipping although this would depend on the extent to which Canadian vessels called at these Soviet ports.
21J.H. Cleveland, direction consulaire
J.H. Cleveland, Consular Division