Matthews Files

United Kingdom Delegation Memorandum1

Allied (Soviet) Control Commissions in Bulgaria and Hungary

H. M. G. regard it as essential (a) that their representatives in Bulgaria and Hungary should enjoy reasonable freedom of movement and communication, and (b) that decisions about which they have not been consulted should not be taken in their name. In the case of Hungary, (a) has been satisfactorily dealt with in the “Statutes of the Allied Control Commission in Hungary”, and H. M. G. suggest that identical Statutes should be adopted for the Control Commission in Bulgaria in order to meet the points made in the message from Mr. Eden which was delivered to M. Molotov on or about December 11th, 1944.2

H. M. G. also consider that during the first period there should be prior consultation with the British and American representatives and that, should the Soviet Government feel obliged to take any unilateral action on military grounds not covered in the Armistice, it should be taken on their sole responsibility and in the name of the Soviet Government only.

During the second period, i. e. after the conclusion of hostilities, H. M. G. wish to ensure that

The British and American representatives should take their places in the Control Commissions as full members and should have the right to attend all their meetings and to participate fully in the consideration of all questions before the Commission. They should also have the right of direct access to the satellite authorities.
Decisions of the Allied Control Commissions should be unanimous and its name and authority should be used only where the representatives of all three powers are in agreement. If the Soviet High Command, being in de facto control of the satellite countries through the presence of Soviet troops, insist upon issuing directives to the local Governments or taking action which are not approved by both the British and American representatives they should act unilaterally in their own name.
The extent to which the British and the Americans will share in the actual executive and administrative work of the Control Commissions will be a matter to be settled on the spot. But they must certainly have the right to membership of any sub-committee or executive organ dealing with matters concerning British and American rights and property.
The detailed implications of these proposals should be worked out between the Soviet chairman and the British and American representatives on the Control Commissions on the spot.


H. M. G. have been glad to note that the Soviet authorities have now agreed to stop removing equipment from the oil fields in Roumania in which British interests are involved and have also agreed that the Ruat plant should remain in situ. But if the large quantities of equipment which have already been removed are not to be returned H. M. G. considers that they must be regarded as deliveries on account of reparations, and arrangements made for compensating the oil companies. Similarly the Ruat plant should be restored to its previous condition and brought into production as soon as possible. As the Soviet Government have made no attempt to refute the argument advanced by H. M. G. that any equipment which may be removed should be regarded as reparation and not as war booty, H. M. G. can only refer the Soviet Government to the statement of the case which has already been made. It should also be pointed out that these difficulties would never have arisen if the Soviet representatives in Roumania had discussed problems affecting the Roumanian oil industry with their British and American colleagues on the Control Commission instead of taking unilateral action.3

  1. Undated British carbon copy which includes pen-written changes and which bears the penciled endorsement “Mr. Matthews.”
  2. Not printed, but see ante, p. 241.
  3. This memorandum was subsequently revised and divided into two papers, both of which were circulated by Eden at the Yalta meeting of the Foreign Ministers on February 10, 1945. See post, pp. 889890, 893.