from Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge
Long, to State Department Officials:
Attached is a memorandum from Mr. Warren. I discussed
the matter with him on the basis of this memorandum.
There are two possibilities and I will discuss each
Their entry into the United States can be made to depend
upon prior authorization by the Department. This would
mean that the consuls would be divested of discretion
and that all requests for nonimmigrant visas (temporary
visitor and transit visas) be passed upon here. It
is quite feasible and can be done instantly. It will
permit the Department to effectively control the immigration
of persons in this category and private instructions
can be given the Visa Division as to nationalities
which should not be admitted as well as to individuals
who are to be excluded.
This must be done for universal application and could
not be done as regards Germany, for instance, or Russia,
for instance, or any other one government because it
would first, invite retaliation and second, would probably
be a violation of some of our treaty arrangements.
The retaliation clause is in connection with Germany
because it could mean the closing of our offices in
almost all of Europe.
We can delay and effectively stop for a temporary period
of indefinite length the number of immigrants into
the United States. We could do this by simply advising
our consuls, to put every obstacle in the way and to
require additional evidence and to resort to various
administrative devices which would postpone and postpone
and postpone the granting of the visas. However, this
could only be temporary. In order to make it more definite
It would have to be done by suspension of the rules
under the law by the issuance of a proclamation of
emergency--which I take it we are not yet ready to
We can effectively control non-immigrants by prohibiting
the issuance of visas
unless the consent of the Department to obtained
in advance for universal application.
We can temporarily prevent the number of immigrants
from certain localities such as Cuba, Mexico and other
places of origin of German intending immigrants by
simply raising administrative obstacles.
The Department will be prepared to take these two
steps immediately upon the decision but emphasis
must be placed on the fact that discrimination
must not be practiced and with the additional thought
that in case a suspension of the regulations should
be proclaimed under the need of an emergency, it
universally applicable and would affect refugees
The Canadian situation and travel across that border
we can handle through
an exception to the general rule and so advise our
consuls in Canada.