864.413 Bandholtz/5: Telegram (part air)
The Minister in Hungary ( Montgomery ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 30—6:15 a.m.]
14. Department’s 7, March 23, 4 p.m. Statue fostered by Hungarian-Americans and money was raised in the United States, City of Budapest providing site which has not yet been selected. Statue shows General in uniform holding crop in both hands behind him and not in a defiant attitude. Ceremony will be unofficial but Regent3 and other high Government officials are expected to be present.
As I have been asked to speak, any excuse except compulsory absence in United States would give offense, and I therefore propose to say that my Government has instructed me to be in Washington not later than June 15th, and thus depart for my authorized leave prior to date on which monument could be completed and unveiled, date of unveiling not being definitely determined.
However, unconditional refusal to have Legation even represented at unofficial ceremony for unveiling of statue to an American military officer of high rank will no doubt offend Hungarians and might expose us to criticism and even ridicule on the part of the Hungarian press and public, who feel they are merely honoring a friend. Chairman of the Committee4 and the Minister of Public Instruction5 have assured me that great care is being taken to do or say nothing that could reasonably offend Rumania.