Secretary of State to the Secretary of State
172. While we realize that during closing stages of conference there may be no opportunity for further consideration of situation in Bulgaria, a series of telegrams just received from Sofia of the same [Page 735]tenor as those summarized in my 156, July 30,1 as supplemented by further report included in general summary2 sent you yesterday suggest that Petkov’s appeal to Prime Minister and ACC for allied control of elections may constitute last chance for Western powers to support exercise of democratic procedures in those elections.
Barnes now states that Fatherland Front is in full cry after Petkov, that Prime Minister has informed regents he has “accepted” Petkov’s resignation from cabinet, and that he fears in absence of encouraging signs from Washington, London or Potsdam of Anglo-American interest in elections Petkov’s supporters in Government may waver. He adds that every friend of democracy in Bulgaria is looking to Potsdam for some sign of hope.
Accordingly, I shall appreciate instructions as to anything which Department in the light of the discussions at Potsdam might tell Barnes for his guidance prior to the election on August 26. Barnes and his British colleague3 state in connection with British proposal to ask for meeting of ACC for consideration of Petkov’s appeal that they are of the opinion that only effective action US and UK can take would be immediate public declaration and communication to Bulgarian Government to effect that neither government could contemplate official relations and the signing of peace with a Bulgarian government that did not issue from free democratic elections. British representative in Sofia is recommending this course to his Government.