763.72115/3742: Telegram

The Commissioner at Vienna (Halstead) to the Secretary of State65

233. Your May 18, 6 p.m.66 State Chancellor Renner’s reply to my note of May 20th regarding Hungarian Communists in Vienna states that views of the United States were presented to Bolshevik Government through agent who replied that American citizen could not be [freed] unconditionally before reciprocal treatment of Russian citizen is guaranteed. American view that every Russian suspected of communism is beyond the pale of law makes it impossible for the Russian Government to cancel measures taken in Russia against bourgeois citizens of America, they being exceedingly guilty of aiding and abetting Russian reactionaries, but Russia would be inclined to repatriate such citizens if their Government undertook to treat its citizens similarly. Renner respectfully suggests that [Page 674] conditions imposed by the United States upon transfer of Hungarian Communists to Russia are out of proportion to the mediocre importance of Kun and his companions and that Moscow Government attaches secondary interest to them. Austria would regret if by exaggerating importance of these Hungarians their stay in Austria should be prolonged and no hope be offered to relieve Austria of their burden. Their continuance in Austria prejudices defensive action against Bolshevism in which Austria considers it has scored some successes. Renner refers to Kun and his companions giving themselves airs of martyrs whose importance is advertised by frequent visitors, especially from the Entente. He therefore appeals to the United States to limit as much as possible conditions for its consent to the transfer of the Hungarians to Russia. He will arrange departure so as to avoid attracting public attention.

  1. Sent via the Ambassador in France.
  2. See the Department’s telegram, May 18, to the Ambassador in France, p. 672.