874.00/474: Telegram

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

16. At 1 o’clock this morning the military forces without warning took over the Government and occupied all Ministries and public offices. There were no disturbances and at noon military was withdrawn and city is normal. The King has signed a decree appointing the new Cabinet as presented to him by the leaders, which is composed of officers, ex-officers and politicians of good standing.

It seems to be a continuance of a group which has the country’s interest at heart and a protest against petty party politics manifested by Cabinet crisis, in reality a peaceful coup d’état led by the Army. Cabinet is headed by former Minister Kimon Georghieff, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The official communiqué issued by the Foreign Office Press Bureau states “In a moment of acute crisis, in order to relieve the gravity of the internal political situation of the country and to assure the Government of national union which would be strong and competent, His Majesty the King, with the concurrence of the Army, has today named a new Government.”