740.00119 European War 1939/2420: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

2718. The text of the prepared statement to be communicated to Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania contained in the Department’s 2405, March 28, 12 p.m. was communicated promptly to the Foreign Office and we have now received a reply dated April 4 stating that the British Government are quite prepared to associate themselves with the declaration provided the Soviet Government are ready to do likewise. The note continues:

“We would suggest, however, the following minor amendments to the text:

In the first line we suggest the omission of the word ‘recent’. Admiral Horthy37 was and still is the leader of Hungary. On the other hand, the recent Prime Minister, Kallay,38 drew down on Hungary a German occupation precisely because he was trying to get away from the Axis. There is, therefore, no particular reason to single him out for odium while leaving Admiral Horthy and the present pro-German Government out of account. We also think that the words ‘the Government in Bulgaria has sold the country to Germany’ should be substituted for the words ‘Bulgaria is under the Nazi sway’ (which seems to suggest a German occupation à la Hongroise).
The word ‘small’ should be omitted from line 1 of paragraph 1.
The word ‘and’ should be inserted between the words ‘sacrifices’ and ‘to’ in the last line of paragraph 2.39

You will have seen the declaration which the Soviet Government issued yesterday about their attitude towards Rumania.40 In the last paragraph it is stated that ‘the Soviet Government declares that it has no intention of taking possession of any portion of Rumanian territory or of changing the existing social order in Rumania and that the entry of Soviet troops into Rumanian territory is dictated exclusively by military necessity and the continued resistance of enemy forces.’

It occurs to me that this Soviet declaration may necessitate some amendment to paragraph 3 of your proposed declaration, which implies that unless Rumania ceases collaboration with Germany, she may forfeit her right as an independent state. I do not think we need alter the text ourselves but the Soviet Government may draw attention to this point in their reply. I should be grateful if you would let me know in due course the nature of the Soviet Government’s reply to your approach.”

  1. Adm. Nicholas (Miklos) Horthy, Hungarian Regent.
  2. Nicholas Kallay, Hungarian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs until German military occupation, March 19–22.
  3. In telegram 2702, April 6, midnight, the Department replied that paragraphs A and B were acceptable, while C apparently was due to a garble in the American draft (740.00119 European War 1939/2420). In telegram 825, April 6, 11 p.m., the Department informed the Ambassador in the Soviet Union of its approval of the amendments in A and B provided they were acceptable to the Soviet Government (740.00119 European War 1939/2396b Suppl.).
  4. Vol. iv, p. 165.