740.0011 European War 1939/33623: Telegram

The Minister in Portugal (Norweb) to the Secretary of State

862. I have learned from a reliable source that the Hungarian Minister here14 has secret instructions that in the event of an invasion of Hungary by the Germans or of any German act which might result in depriving the legitimate Hungarian Government of its independence of action he is to put himself at once in touch with me and with the British Ambassador15 with an offer to place himself and his Legation at our disposal.

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This contingency appears now to have arisen and in order to anticipate the approach which I understand he is about to make I would welcome instructions.

I have it on good authority that he called together all the members of his Legation night before last and asked them to sign a pledge of loyalty to him, explaining that this might involve acting independently of Budapest and accepting guidance from the Anglo-American Missions.

As far as I can learn they all signed excepting the Assistant Military Attaché who is now denied access to the Legation’s premises and whose papers and office was sealed and being guarded by loyal staff members.

It may interest the Department to know that as far as I can determine all the possible outlets for a Hungarian underground movement have been concentrated in this Hungarian Legation here during the past few months and that this may present us with certain opportunities which perhaps should not be overlooked.

I have not consulted with my British colleague.

  1. Andor Wodianer.
  2. Sir Ronald H. Campbell.