The Acting Representative in
Rumania (Melbourne) to the Acting Secretary of
491. Coincident with opening of Potsdam Conference all National Peasant and National Liberal Party leaders except Dinu Bratianu [Page 700]who was unavoidably absent met with Prince Stirbey on July 17 and decided upon a political program to demonstrate locally and abroad that organized opposition to NDF is an effective force and to forestall during the conference a sudden Soviet inspired token reshuffle of present Cabinet.
Rptd Moscow as 135.
This decision reversed previous opposition policy of quiescence until Potsdam results were known and from available indications was deliberately taken without informing Anglo Americans as a question of internal politics. Later it was learned Julius Maniu said “this policy should be taken in such a manner as to avoid any grounds for suspicion that the program had prior approval of Anglo Americans.”
Maniu opened political offensive July 18 with speech to university students who were leaving for vacations. Speech was not published but was extensively distributed. A summary will be sent in a subsequent telegram.2 Maniu explained democratic principles of his party and stated categorically “the govt must go. The country must no longer tolerate dictatorial govts imposed from abroad. We want a freely elected Parliament; we want a govt which is morally and politically capable of holding free elections.” That evening several hundred Peasant Party supporters demonstrated briefly for the King and Maniu in the Palace square. No police opposition was encountered.
Dinu Bratianu the evening of July 20 addressed about 700 members of National Liberal youth organization at the party club. His speech (text of which will be forwarded by despatch2) is reported as being stronger than Maniu’s in condemnation of NDF govt and in calling for a change. Following speech Liberal Youth proceeded to Palace square, shouted for the King, Bratianu, Maniu and liberty and paraded through streets drawing encouraging applause from spectators. At dispersal point demonstrators were met by Red Army trucks filled with Rumanian Communists. According to a Liberal source a brief struggle resulted in 32 Liberals being arrested and two injured.
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Other NDF political groups are restive. Some Communists are openly blaming prominent Central Committee members for party errors and one prominent official is quoted as saying present govt cannot continue since it does not enjoy confidence of King or people. [Page 701]Ana Pauker this week again reportedly failed to induce Dr Lupu to head his wing of National Peasants into a new camouflage govt.
Premier Groza on July 20 conferred with Plowman’s Front leaders on disturbed situation and latter reportedly told one source that Russians would not consider any govt except with himself as Premier.
July 19 Tatarescu and his group also consulted over former’s alleged failure to secure Communist assent to a plan revising the govt making Tatarescu Premier and giving his faction a more prominent place so the Russians could state to Anglo-Americans there is a bourgeois democratic Cabinet.
All signs point to a continuance of present opposition tactics with leaders openly expressing confidence that at Potsdam Rumania’s political problems will be solved in accord with Yalta agreement. NDF factions obviously expecting Cabinet changes and fearing shifts detriment as to their respective groups consult and await outcome of Potsdam Conference as conclusive for their political future.