232 Lifanov to Evatt

Letter [1] CANBERRA, 23 May 1947

In connection with your letter of May 16th I am instructed to inform you that the Soviet Authorities know nothing about the microphones' installation allegedly taken place in the building of the Australian Legation in Moscow. It is however known that during the war when Germans forced their way through to Moscow partisans' groups were installing for their subsequent struggle against German invaders in the rear of the enemy microphones in some buildings which were empty as a result of the evacuation and which might be used by a German Military Command in the case of the occupation of Moscow by Germans. It is not excepted that at that time the microphones of such a kind were installed also in the building which afterwards passed over to the Australian Legation but the Soviet Authorities were unaware about it.

The Soviet Government therefore rejects demarche undertaken by you as lacking any foundation. The Soviet Government can not but to draw here the attention of the Australian Government to the unjustified by anything haste made by the Department of External Affairs of the Commonwealth of Australia which did not even take the most elementary steps for clearing up this question before addressing the Soviet Government with baseless and quarrelsome pretensions.

1 The file copy is headed 'Inofficial Translation'.

[AA: A1838, 4626/1/5, 1]