740.00119 E. W./7–1345: Telegram

No. 312
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Acting Secretary of State 1
secret

7075. FonOff has replied as follows to our communication based on Dept’s 5097, June 23, 8 p.m.,2 and 5517, July 6, 6 p.m.:3

[Page 409]

(Sent Dept as 7075; repeated Moscow as 248.)

We have given very careful consideration to your letters of the 25th June and 9th July in which you informed us of the views of the State Dept on the proposals we had made for the conclusion of peace treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania.

We sympathize entirely with the desire of the State Dept to secure effective participation in the Control Commissions in these three countries at the same time securing a better position for the American representatives and an improvement in the present extremely unsatisfactory political conditions in these countries. I must confess, however, that we are still doubtful whether the action which the State Dept are now taking is likely to secure the practical results which both our Govts desire. You will, of course, recall the determination with which the Soviet Govt refused in Feb and March of this year to admit that the Yalta Declaration on liberated territories should be applied to Rumania.4 Persistent pressure from both the US and British Ambassadors in Moscow entirely failed to move them from this position and I fear that we can see little prospect that further representations will now have effect. Similarly it appears to us unlikely that the Soviet Govt will accept without very considerable modification the US Govt’s proposals for the reorganization of the Control Commissions.5 Under these proposals as we understand them a decision of the commissions would require the concurrence of all three Govts and the commissions would concern themselves with all matters relating to the fulfillment of the various armistice terms. If these proposals were accepted such matters as Rumanian reparation deliveries to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would come under a genuine tripartite control. His Majesty’s Govt would find it extremely difficult to approve the very extensive demands which have been made by Soviet authorities under the title of reparations since it appears to us that these demands greatly exceed the quantities agreed upon during the discussions leading up to the signature of the Rumanian armistice. It appears clear, however, that Soviet Govt are determined to secure reparation deliveries on the scale which they have now demanded. There are also other important matters in which a similar situation would result from the acceptance of the US Govt’s proposals. For example, it would be possible for the British and US representatives to raise in the commissions with much more force than has hitherto been possible the question of the removal of equipment from the British and US owned oil companies another matter upon which our views and those of the Soviet Govt are diametrically opposed. For these reasons I fear that we see little chance of persuading the Soviet Govt to put the Control Commissions upon a genuinely tripartite basis.

We understand the reluctance of the State Dept to conclude peace treaties with govts so unrepresentative as those of Bulgaria and Rumania. We recognize that to do so would to some extent increase such prestige as these govts have although it would be our intention to make our disapproval of them abundantly clear at the time of the signature of any treaty and maybe to make the negotiation of such treaties conditional on satisfactory undertakings in respect of certain [Page 410]internal improvements. After very careful consideration, however; we remain of the opinion that it will probably be necessary to accept this disadvantage in order to create conditions in which democratic govts may later emerge. There are clearly strong arguments for concluding treaties as soon as possible before the present govts can entrench themselves too strongly. In Bulgaria we appear already to have reached the stage at which the purge of “Fascists” has eliminated the great majority of politicians who might be capable of organizing any representative opposition to the present govt.

In view of the opinions expressed by the State Dept we have not as we had intended put our proposals to the Soviet Govt in advance of the forthcoming conference. We may, however, wish to put them forward at the conference.

Winant
  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 28 of July 14 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–1445).
  2. Document No. 291.
  3. Document No. 303.
  4. See document No. 301, footnote 1.
  5. See documents Nos. 286, 287, and 288.