761.67/7–945: Telegram

No. 307
The Representative in Bulgaria (Barnes) to the Acting Secretary of State 1
us urgent

350. Numerous conversations over the weekend this time with respect to Russia’s threat against the Straits have served further to impress me with the improbability that we shall never [ever] be able to affect matters in this part of the world for the better by a diplomacy of silence and apparent inaction, except for discreet observations now and then made in Moscow.

Our failure thus far publicly to react to Russia’s threat of force against Turkey2 at the very moment when the United Nations charter was being signed is pointed to by local Communists as a further sign of American impotence as compared to the virility of Soviet Russia. Thus are the hands of the local Communists strengthened at the expense of the democratic elements in the country who still struggle for a Bulgarian policy both internal and external, based on the principles for which the Western Allies fought a second war in Europe.

I am sorry to keep harping on this point of our apparent inaction with respect to what is occurring in southwestern [southeastern] Europe but my conscience as a representative of the Govt of the US compels me to do so. The world situation as seen from this area in which Russian policy is most active and Anglo Saxon policy appears to be inactive suggests the war in Europe has not ceased but has developed into a new phase [in] which ideas rather than men and arms have become instruments of warfare, and in which the old line up of Brit US and Russia together against Germany has become Russia against Brit and US.

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Perhaps to some it may appear unpardonable to sketch the picture in this fashion but I am sure that for anyone who has observed on the spot what has been transpiring in Bulgaria during past eight months such a sketch would require no explanation; also that a willingness so to describe matters would not be surprising to anyone aware of conditions under which those who represent the US and Brit in this part of the world are compelled to serve by virtue of the attitude toward us of those who give effect to Russian police [policy] whether they be Russian officials or local Communists inspired and controlled by Moscow.

I sincerely hope that on the eve of the meeting of the Big Three the Dept can assure those of us who represent the US here and elsewhere under similar conditions imposed by Russia that a strenuous effort will be made at that meeting to correct the situation responsible for the misconception of those in this part of the world who today see Russia sitting in the seat of world dictatorship.

Sent Dept, rptd Moscow 190 to Budapest to Bucharest to Vienna to Caserta as 179 and to Ankara.

  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 12 of July 10 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–1045).
  2. See documents Nos. 683 and 684.