Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, Volume I
Moscow Embassy Files—711 Hungary-ACC
Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the
Soviet Union (Harriman)
The Acting Secretary of State encloses for the Ambassador’s background information a copy of recommendations made by Major General William S. Key, American Representative on the Allied [Page 375] Control Commission for Hungary, for the reorganization of the Control Commission in the second period of the Armistice, in the form of a revised draft of the present statutes of the Commission, together with a copy of General Key’s explanatory comments.1
Copies of the enclosed documents have also been transmitted to the American Embassy in London.
Draft of Statutes of the Allied Control Commission in Hungary
(Note: By this draft it is intended to prescribe the organization and procedure of the Commission during the second period of the Armistice, i. e., from the end of hostilities against Germany, May 8th, to the conclusion of peace. In their present form the Statutes prescribe the organization and procedure, in certain respects, only for the first period of the Armistice, i. e., from the date of the Armistice Agreement, January 20th, to the end of hostilities against Germany. Consequently certain old provisions, applicable only to the first period, may now be omitted, and certain new provisions are required. So far as feasible the form and terminology of the present Statutes have been retained.)
- The principal functions of the Allied Control Commission in Hungary shall consist of the regulation and control, for the period up to the conclusion of peace, over the exact fulfillment of the Armistice terms set forth in the Agreement concluded on the 20th January 1945 between the Governments of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, on the one hand, and the Provisional National Government of Hungary on the other.
- The Allied Control Commission shall be headed by a Chairman who shall be a representative of the Soviet High Command and the Commander of Soviet Forces in Hungary. The Chiefs of the American and British Missions shall be Vice Chairmen of the Commission. The Chairman may also appoint a third Vice Chairman of the Commission and such political and military assistants as may be required, and a Chief of Staff of the Commission. Representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States will be included in the composition of the Control Commission and of each division thereof. The Allied Control Commission shall have its own seal and its headquarters shall be at Budapest.
- The Allied Control Commission shall be composed of—
- A staff.
- A political division.
- An administrative division.
- A Military division.
- An Air force division.
- A river fleet division.
- An economic division.
- The staff will include officers of the armed forces of all three participating governments and will have a liaison section. The duties of the liaison section will include receipt from and transmission to the Hungarian Government of all communications, reports, directives, or other documents relating to the fulfillment of the Armistice terms.
- The Chairman shall call meetings of the Commission at least twice each month and shall cause agenda to be prepared for such meetings and delivered to each participating government at least two days in advance of the meeting for which prepared. Only matters appearing on the agenda shall be considered at each meeting. Questions of policy shall be referred to the governments of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, and decisions of the Commission shall be made only upon the concurrence of the three participating governments.
- The representatives of the Soviet Union, the United
Kingdom and the United States shall have the right
- To receive oral and written information from any official of the Commission on all matters connected with the fulfillment of the Armistice Agreement;
- To put forward for consideration of the Commission proposals of their governments on questions connected with the fulfillment of the Armistice Agreement;
- To receive promptly copies of all communications, reports and other documents which may interest their respective governments;
- To make journeys and move freely anywhere, and by any means of transportation, on Hungarian territory, with complete freedom of entrance from outside Hungary to any point within Hungary, and with complete freedom of exit from Hungary;
- To participate in all general conferences of the Commission or meetings of Chiefs of Divisions of the Commission;
- To communicate with the Hungarian Government or any of its agencies, through the liaison section of the staff;
- To determine the size and composition of their own delegations;
- To communicate directly with their respective governments by cypher, telegram and by diplomatic mail, for which purpose they shall have the right to receive and dispatch diplomatic couriers by air at regular intervals, upon notification to the Chairman;
- To determine the amount of money required from the Hungarian Government for the expenses of their respective staffs and to obtain such funds through the Commission;
- To transport personnel, mail and supplies to and from Hungary by airplane or by motor or other transportation, upon notification to the Chairman of the Allied Control Commission;
- To call in specialist-officers or other experts for consultation, for making surveys or for working out special questions which arise during the work of the Allied Control Commission.
- The Allied Control Commission shall have its representatives in the provinces, districts, ports and at the most important enterprises for the organization of local control.
Comments on Proposed Statutes Allied Control Commission for Hungary
- This memorandum is written for the purpose of commenting upon certain proposed modifications in the original Statutes of the ACC agreed upon when the Armistice Agreement with Hungary was signed 20 January 1945. The draft to which the memorandum refers particularly is dated 5 June 1945.
- These comments are intended to be read in connection with the note appearing at the head of the draft of 5 June 1945.
- Par. 1: The word “principal” in the first sentence has been added. The U. S. Military Mission in Hungary has heretofore acted, and is continuing to act, in various matters which might be construed to be outside the functions of the ACC as defined in Par. 1 of the present Statutes. The Mission has cared for and repatriated a great many U. S. airmen and numerous escaped U. S. prisoners of war, has obtained information concerning the military, economic and political situation in Hungary, et cet. It is believed that it would be undesirable to attempt to use language to cover such miscellaneous and minor services of the Mission, and that any such new provisions would be objected to. On the other hand these minor and collateral functions have not been objected to by our Allies, and it is thought that the functions specifically referred to may be described as “principal”, so that it cannot be said that the miscellaneous services mentioned above are excluded from the legitimate field of the Mission’s activity.
- Par. 2: The new draft substantially modifies this Statute. The expression “headed by” is not approved, but in preparing the new draft it was thought best to change the terminology as slightly as possible, particularly in view of the problems of translation. Accordingly the first sentence of this paragraph is left in substantially its present form, but the meaning has been greatly changed by the [Page 378] addition of the phrase “the Commander of Soviet Forces in Hungary.” The experience of our Mission here has shown one of our most difficult problems to be the fact that the zone of the front line, which at this date still includes a substantial part of Hungary, is completely independent of the ACC. In fact the Chairman of the ACC is apparently not informed when the front line command removes an industrial plant or a vast amount of other property. Moreover, representatives of the American Mission are not permitted free movement in all of Hungary, the explanation being that certain areas desired to be entered are still under the “front line command”, with which the Chairman of the ACC has no connection and over which he can exercise no control. The phrase added in the draft is intended to identify the representative of the Soviet High Command” (as provided in the present statute) with the Chairman of the ACC. It is believed that this is the least objectionable form in which to deal with the problem. The second sentence of the new draft provides that the Chiefs of the American and British Missions are to be Vice Chairmen of the ACC. This is considered an important provision, and should be acceptable to our Allies, particularly since this paragraph also provides that the Chairman may appoint a third Vice Chairman. A further modification is to be noted: the present statute provides that “representatives of the UK and the USA will be included in the composition” of the ACC. This is insufficient, and the redraft provides “and of each division thereof.”
- Par. 3: The redraft of this Statute provides for a liaison section. This is based on our suggestion made heretofore that a Joint Secretariat should be established. The suggestion was objected to on the ground that the Statutes did not provide for a Joint Secretariat. In this case the terminology is not important and the redraft merely provides that the staff must include a liaison section which will be in effect a channel of communication. The purpose of the new provision is to make sure that each participating government will be completely informed as to matters relating to fulfillment of the Armistice terms.
- Par. 4: This paragraph is entirely new as Par. 4 of the present Statutes relates only to the first period of the Armistice. This new provision attempts to insure that the Commission will meet at least twice each month and that all participating governments will be informed in advance of matters to be acted upon. The paragraph also provides that decisions of the Commission must be unanimous. The requirement of unanimity of the three Allied powers is almost [Page 379] certain to meet objection and it may be reasonably argued that the requirement of unanimity, as insisted upon, should be limited to important questions of policy at government level. The last sentence of the redraft might perhaps be improved by some special limitation as “upon the concurrence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman.” It is, of course, not intended that each decision of the Commission should necessarily be made at government level; the “concurrence” of a government would be expressed by its principal representative on the Commission.
- Par. 5: The substance of this provision is new but in form it appears in the present Statutes. The present Par. 5 applies only to the first period of the Armistice and provides that the British and American representatives may have certain rights. As redrawn the provision puts the representatives of all three governments upon the same basis, and enumerates specifically certain rights they may exercise. The specific provisions are mostly self-explanatory, but attention is invited to the following comments: As to “f”, it should be noted that communications with the Hungarian Government are to be effected through the Liaison Section of the Staff, so that each Mission will be fully informed of such communications; as to “j”, it is intended by this provision to avoid the problem of obtaining clearances for movements within Hungary and particularly for the arrival and departure of aircraft. It is recognized that Russian authorities should be fully informed in respect of arriving and departing personnel, but it is not considered that the power to veto such arrivals and departures should be conceded.
- Par. 6: At the meeting of the ACC March 26th it was stated, in reply to a question, that the ACC, meaning the Russian Section of the ACC, had ten representatives in the provinces. At the second meeting of the ACC on 5 June 1945 it was stated, in answer to a question, that the number of provincial representatives had been increased to twenty. In the redraft this provision is retained.
- The present Statutes contain a paragraph, No. 7, which provides that the Vice Chairman and assistants and Chiefs of Divisions (all Russian) may call specialist-officers for consultation. As redrawn this paragraph appears as a subdivision (k) of Par. 5, and the privilege may be exercised by representatives of all three Allied powers. The words “or other experts” are new.
- Paragraph 8 of the present Statutes has been omitted. It provides that “Liaison with Hungarian governmental authorities shall be effected by representatives of the Allied Control Commission not lower than a chief of division”, et cet. This provision is considered unnecessary in view of the provisions of Par. 5 (f), under which representatives [Page 380] of any of the three powers may communicate with the Hungarian Government or any of its agencies.
Major General, U. S. A. Chief U. S. Section