Venona: FBI Documents of Historic Interest/Ladd Memorandum 1950-10-16

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To J. Edgar Hoover.

3640428Venona: FBI Documents of Historic Interest — Ladd Memorandum to the Director: October 16, 1950Daniel Milton Ladd



TO: The DirectorDATE: October 16, 1950

FROM: D. M. Ladd



To advise you of the positive identification of Jurist — the cover name for a Soviet agent operating in 1944 and named by   as Harry Dexter White, deceased. White was formerly the Administrative Assistant to former Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau.


You have previously been advised of information obtained from   concerning a Soviet espionage agent designated by the cover name of Jurist who was active during 1944. According to the previous information received from   regarding Jurist, during April, 1944, he had reported on conversations between the then Secretary of State Hull and Vice President Wallace. He also reported on Wallace's proposed trip to China. On August 5, 1944, he reported to the Soviets that he was confident of President Roosevelt's victory in the coming elections unless there was a huge military failure. He also reported that Truman's nomination as Vice President was calculated to secure the vote of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party. It was also reported that Jurist was willing for any self-sacrifice in behalf of the MGB but was afraid that his activities, if exposed, might lead to a political scandal and have an effect on the elections. It was also mentioned that he would be returning to Washington, D. C., on August 17, 1944.

The new information from   indicates that Jurist and Morgenthau were to make a trip to Landon and Normandy and were leaving the united States on August 5, 1944.

On the basis of the foregoing, the tentative identification of Harry Dexter White as Jurtat appear to be conclusively established inasmuch as Morgenthau and White left the United States on a confidential trip to the Normandy beachhead on August 4, 1944, and they returned to the United States of August 17, 1944.

You may recall that Harry Dexter White was named by Whittaker Chambers in his statements as having been a source of information for Chambers in his work tn Soviet espionage until Chambers broke with the Soviets in 1938. Chamber produced a handwritten memorandum that White had given him and our Laboratory established this memorandum as being in White's handwriting. The Treasury Department advised that parts of this material were highly confidential, coming to the Treasury Department from the Department of State.

In addition to the foregoing, Elizabeth T. Bentley in November, 1945, advised that she had learned through Nathan Gregory Silvermaster that White was supplying Silvermaster with information which was obtained by White in the course of his duties as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury.


There is attached hereto a blind memorandum which has been prepared on the information and assistance of   setting forth this identification. There is no attached a memorandum to the Field giving them the new information from   which established conclusively the identity of White as Jurist.


Wouldn't it be swell to send substance to Ad. Souers for information of the President.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

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