864.01/560: Telegram

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

1271. The Department has not approved Eckhardt’s leadership of the Hungarian resistance committee. From reports received locally it appears that he does not seek and probably would not accept any position requiring public activity. Until the receipt of your (Lisbon’s) telegram no. 1302 of April 29, 1944 (Bern’s 2776 transmitting Bessenyi’s proposal was not received until the evening of May 2), we had had no knowledge of the proposed committee of envoys to be headed by Barcza in Europe and Pelényi in the United States. Although the Department perceives no objection to the organization of a committee of Hungarian diplomats for informative and advisory purposes as proposed by Bessenyi it prefers not to indicate any special interest in these plans since there are indications that the dissenting Hungarians are looking particularly to this Government for sponsorship. The temporary facilities for communication which we afforded were and are intended only to make sure that advantages in promoting resistance to the Germans should not be lost.

The Russians have not indicated what attitude they intend to adopt toward the Hungarians abroad. Messages from Stockholm of [Page 873] April 29 and 3054 report, however, that the Soviet Minister has received Ullein-Reviczky and that the British have undertaken to transmit messages to persons in Hungary. Accordingly, it is felt that in general the plan for dealing with the Hungarian envoys abroad is developing along the lines of the British proposals mentioned in the Department’s circular telegram of April 17,55 although some six weeks have passed without any concrete evidence of active resistance within Hungary or of the establishment of effective liaison between the Hungarians abroad and elements within the country.

The Department will again communicate with you as soon as it can evaluate the results of the British initiative both in underground contacts and in the matter of the proposed joint policy of the Allied Governments.

Sent to Lisbon, repeated to Madrid, Stockholm, Ankara (to be repeated to Istanbul), Moscow,56 and to Bern in paraphrase.

  1. Telegrams 1527 and 1532, respectively; neither printed.
  2. Telegram 1065, p. 868.
  3. Repeated as Nos. 1275,840,398, and 1125, respectively.