An Invitation from the Soviet Military Counterintelligence
IN THE FALL OF 1927, I WAS APpointed chief of The Associated Press Bureau in Moscow. The appointment took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whither I was summoned to meet Kent Cooper, general manager, and Charles Stephenson Smith, then chief of the AP European Service.
At the time of my appointment, Reuters, the semiofficial British news agency, owing to the recent break in Anglo-Soviet relations, had withdrawn their correspondent from Moscow. In view of this I was instructed to file all my cabled reports via Reuters, London. This meant that I represented a major part of the Anglo-American press--a journalistic post unprecedented in the U.S.S.R. and of such outstanding importance as to command the wholesome respect of the Soviet Government. It also commanded the keen and not-so-wholesome interest of the Cheka's counterespionage service, which was always on the lookout for men in a position to render them some unique service. Its agents, the most dangerous and aggressive men on Lubianka, were not long in casting furtive glances in my direction. Before returning to Russia I had read in the Soviet press renewed warnings of approaching war. Well-informed people in France and Switzerland scoffed at the idea of an attack on the