740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/1–145: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )

4. In a separate telegram the Department is repeating to you a telegram to London4 referring to an exchange of correspondence between Mr. Winant and the Soviet Chargé5 at the time of the negotiation of the Bulgarian armistice, referring particularly to the application of Article 18 in the period following the conclusion of hostilities.6

Mr. Winant had informed his British and Soviet colleagues in the European Advisory Commission7 that in approving the draft armistice terms for submission to the three governments, he had been directed to state that this Government continues to feel that Article 18 should properly have contained an additional provision to the effect [Page 136] that in the period between the conclusion of hostilities against Germany and the conclusion of peace with Bulgaria the Control Commission will regulate and supervise the execution of the armistice according to the instructions of the three governments. Mr. Winant therefore informed his colleagues on the EAC that this Government may find it necessary at a later date to discuss the detailed manner in which Article 18 should be implemented.

In his reply the Soviet Chargé referred to the discussion with Mr. Eden8 in Moscow and stated that the provision for the Chairmanship signifies that the direction of the Control Commission will belong to the Soviet Command during both periods, although in the second period the leading role of the Soviet High Command will “be limited to a certain degree in favor of the American and British representatives.” The reply also expressed the unwillingness of the Soviet Government to agree to a proposal for supplementing Article 18, since this might be interpreted as meaning that the three governments would have an equal share in the practical activity and responsibility although only Soviet troops are in Bulgaria, and the country is not divided into zones of occupation. Such an interpretation, the letter continued, would lead to the elimination of the Soviet Command from the direction of the Control Commission, and in accepting the present form of Article 18 the Soviet Government based its attitude on the necessity for preserving the leading role of the Soviet High Command “although in a somewhat different form, likewise during the second period”.

Since the letter closed with an assumption that the American delegation would not insist on a further discussion of this article, the Department has instructed Mr. Winant, as a matter of record, to reaffirm the position taken in his first letter.

It is not the intention of this Government to propose a reexamination of this article at the moment, but the foregoing may be useful to you in connection with the Hungarian negotiations.9 Sent to Moscow repeated to Sofia.10

Stettinius
  1. Telegram 25, midnight, infra.
  2. For accounts of this correspondence between John G. Winant, U. S. Ambassador in the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Chargé, see telegrams 9077, October 22, 1944, midnight, and 9370, October 30, 1944, 7 p.m., from London, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, pp. 472 and 482, respectively.
  3. For documentation regarding negotiations leading to the signing of the armistice with Bulgaria on October 28, 1944, see ibid., pp. 300 ff. For text of armistice agreement signed at Moscow, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 437, or 58 Stat (pt. 2) 1498.
  4. Sir William Strang, British Assistant Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Fedor Tarasovich Gusev, Ambassador of the Soviet Union in the United Kingdom, were representatives of their Governments on the European Advisory Commission (EAC). For documentation on the Commission’s work, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  5. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, accompanied Prime Minister Churchill on a mission to Moscow in October 1944. For documentation on this mission, see telegram 790, October 3, 1944, from London, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 1002, and subsequent telegrams; telegram 3943, October 16, 1944, 11 a.m., from Moscow, ibid., vol. iii, p. 457, and subsequent telegrams; also cf. telegram 21, January 26, 1945, to Sofia, post, p. 148.
  6. For armistice negotiations in January 1945, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, pp. 953 ff.
  7. As telegram 5 (in paraphrase), January 2, 1945, 7 p.m.