864.01/544a: Telegram

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

1065. The British Foreign Office has given some study to the question of dealing with the Hungarians abroad, and has notified the Department of its conclusions which are also now being communicated to the Soviet Government, presumably with the idea of determining certain principles of common policy in the matter. The main points put forward by the Foreign Office are as follows:

We should take no initiative in and assume no responsibility for the formation of a free Hungarian movement.
Should the émigrés themselves of their own accord tend to come together we should not discourage such tendency but should reserve our position vis-à-vis any organization that might eventually be formed.
We should encourage the governments of neutral countries where Hungarian representatives have repudiated the authority of the present Hungarian Government to continue their recognition of such representatives and to refuse to accept any new representatives who may be named by that Government. Dissident Hungarian representatives should in the interests of the common cause be encouraged to remain at their present posts.
In our propaganda we should make it clear that the future of Hungary is primarily in the hands of the Hungarians within Hungary, who regardless of party affiliations should be given every encouragement to unite in active resistance to the Germans and the present Hungarian Government. They should be advised wherever possible to get into touch with Tito44 and his partisans.
We should ourselves endeavor to get into direct touch through Yugoslavia with any resistance groups that may emerge in Hungary, but not using Hungarian émigré organizations for this purpose.
Such a policy may have to be reconsidered if it becomes clear later that there is little prospect of organized resistance inside Hungary.

The Soviet Government has not yet commented on these views. The Department, however, has indicated its general agreement and you may therefore use them, together with the observations contained in the Department’s circular of March 31,45 for guidance in dealing with the Hungarian question, pending a further clarification of the situation. Regarding paragraph 3 above, if you have a suitable opportunity you should make known to the Foreign Minister that, on the basis of information available to us, we believe the new Hungarian Government is in fact unconstitutional and should in every way be [Page 869] considered as a “puppet” government entirely subservient to the Germans. You may therefore express the hope that the government to which you are accredited will not recognize the present Nazi-imposed Hungarian Government and accordingly refuse to accept any representative whom it may seek to appoint.

As for paragraph 4 above, the Department realizes that as the military situation in Southeastern Europe now stands the best means of contact with Hungary may be through northwestern Yugoslavia where the Partisan forces are active. There is no change, however, in our general policy as regards Yugoslavia, where our relations with the Partisans have been on a strictly military basis, and our acceptance of this point would not exclude contact with other groups actively resisting the Germans.

Sent to Lisbon, Bern, Madrid, Stockholm, repeated to Ankara and Moscow.46

  1. Marshal Josip Broz Tito, President and Minister of Defense of the National Committee of Liberation of Yugoslavia; Supreme Commander of Yugoslav Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments.
  2. See telegram 922, March 31, 11 a.m., to Lisbon, p. 858.
  3. As Nos. 1065, 1319, 1063, 688, 341 (for repetition to Istanbul), and 936, respectively. The last-named telegram added: “Since this matter is being presented to Moscow by the British no action on your part is necessary.” (864.01/544b)