The Minister in Bulgaria (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

No. 30

Sir: I have the honor to report that the Department’s instruction No. 1 of December 9, 1921, was received on December 31st, and the draft of the treaty contained therein was immediately submitted to the Bulgarian Foreign Office for its consideration.

In the first conversation which I had on this subject with Mr. Stambolisky, the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, he seemed much pleased with the idea, and especially enthusiastic at the prospect of having an American member on the various commissions provided for by the Treaty of Neuilly. He told me later that the treaty had been discussed in the Council of Ministers, and approved in principle.

A few days ago, however, Mr. Kissimoff, who—as the Prime Minister speaks no language but Bulgarian—represents the latter in dealing with the foreign representatives, asked me to come to the Foreign Office as he wished to talk over with me certain matters connected with the proposed treaty.

At this interview he began by repeating what the Prime Minister had previously said, viz, that in principle the Bulgarian Government approved the treaty, but he went on to say that in the draft submitted by me, all the clauses in the Treaty of Neuilly favorable to the United States had been retained, and all those favorable to Bulgaria, omitted. This he said would certainly arouse opposition when the treaty came before the Sobranje for discussion, and might even bring about its defeat, as many persons would say,—and with [Page 666] some justice—that as the United States and Bulgaria had never been at war, there was no need of any such treaty as that proposed unless Bulgaria were to draw some advantages therefrom.

Mr. Kissimoff said that Bulgaria had accepted the hard conditions imposed upon her by the Treaty of Neuilly, and was carrying them out loyally on her side, but that the only two conditions in any way favorable to Bulgaria, viz, an outlet on the Aegean Sea (Article 48), and the Protection of Minorities (Section IV), were not being fulfilled by the other parties to the Treaty.

He inquired therefore whether I did not think that in the proposed treaty between the United States and Bulgaria, the Department would be willing to insert a clause whereby the United States would promise its diplomatic support in securing the execution of these two clauses of the Treaty of Neuilly. The insertion of such a clause, he stated, would remove any objections which might be raised in Parliament, that Bulgaria had nothing to gain by the proposed treaty, and that the United States alone drew all the advantages therefrom.

I replied to Mr. Kissimoff, that I would of course refer to my Government any suggestions he might wish to make, as soon as he submitted them to me in a concrete form, but that I could not hold out any hope that any suggestion of such a nature as that just proposed, would be found acceptable by the Department. I explained to him that all political and territorial clauses had been purposely omitted from the proposed treaty, as not being in accord with the policy of the Government, and that I did not believe that any change along this line would be considered.

I then pointed out to Mr. Kissimoff, that the Prime Minister, and he himself, had several times stated that it would be to the greatest advantage of Bulgaria to have an American member on the various Interallied Commissions, especially the Separations Commission, so that it was not exact to say that Bulgaria derived no advantages from the proposed treaty. He acknowledged this, but said that the United States could not be represented on these commissions unless the consent of England, France, and Italy were previously secured. He believed that this consent would be difficult, if not impossible to secure, and he said that he knew that the Reparations Commission in Sofia would oppose it with all its strength, and urge their respective Governments to take the same position. …

Mr. Kissimoff told me yesterday that the Prime Minister had ap pointed a small commission to study the treaty, and to propose to the United States a modification along the lines mentioned above, viz, securing a clause promising American diplomatic support in the execution of the two clauses mentioned of the Treaty of Neuilly. I repeated that I did not think there was the slightest possibility of the proposal being accepted, but that I would of course send it to [Page 667] my Government by cable, as soon as he furnished me with the exact wording of the clause which he desired to have inserted.

This telegram will probably be received by the Department within a short time, and doubtless before the receipt of this despatch.3

Neither the Bulgarian Government or myself have given any statement about the proposed Bulgarian-American treaty, and the first news of it was received here through an article in the London Times. The local correspondent of the Times then called on me, and I told him that such a treaty was now under consideration, and was merely following the General policy of my Government in its recent treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Nothing was asked or said about the clause providing for an American member on the various commissions, and I do not think that this is known outside the Foreign Office. …

I have the honor to enclose herewith a translation of an article from the Echo de Bulgarie—the semi-official Government organ—of the 11th instant commenting upon the proposed Bulgarian-American Treaty.4 This is a translation of an article from the Pobeda, a newly-established newspaper which supports the present Agrarian Government of Mr. Stambolisky, and so may be taken as expressing the views of the Government.

I have [etc.]

Charles S. Wilson
  1. No telegram appears to have been received.
  2. Not printed.