740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/1–545: Telegram

The United States Representative in Bulgaria (Barnes) to the Secretary of State


5. The time has come I think when the Department should point[out?] to the Russian authorities in Moscow in the most forceful manner possible the imperative need of our delegate on the Allied Soviet Control Commission14 and of this mission for a weekly courier [Page 138] plane linking our establishments here with Washington Bucharest and Caserta. We have received one pouch, No. 3, since my arrival. I point out to cite merely one handicap of this situation that we are now receiving telegrams which are undecipherable due to non receipt of cryptographic material.

It is my belief that the Russian authorities should be informed in so many words that we are here as Allies to assist in carrying out terms of the armistice and that we must conclude that the Soviet Government views our presence in an entirely different light if we cannot obtain a blanket permit for a weekly courier plane. The so-called agreement reached between Russian Military authorities in Moscow and the Allied Military Missions there as to procedure covering flights of American and British planes to Sofia is so interpreted by local Russian authorities as to constitute an even greater impediment to the movement of our planes in and out of Sofia than formerly existed. These authorities have explained to the British and to us that requests for clearance under this agreement can be only made here and that each individual request must contain following particulars:

Number and type of aircraft;
Individual and tailmarkings;
Route of flight;
Purpose of flight;
Passenger list, numbers and particulars with respect to each person, type of cargo and to whom destined;
Expected time and date of arrival.

Each request will be transmitted separately to Moscow for decision by the Commissar of Foreign Affairs15 upon receipt of this information. Russian authorities anticipate a minimum delay of 7 days in the case of each request.

It is obvious to anyone who knows weather conditions here and the inadequate radio installations maintained at the local airfields by Russian authorities that these regulations are calculated to render virtually impossible regular air communications for the British and ourselves.

While the Russians from one point of view might be well pleased to have [us?] shut up shop in Bulgaria, their local representatives are sufficiently intelligent to know that in such an eventuality the reaction locally would gravely affect their long range position in the country. Therefore, I do not believe that it is necessary for us in such matters as the assurance of proper communications to go begging to them with our hat in our hands. The usefulness of our presence will continue [Page 139] at a minimum until this mission and our delegation on the Allied Soviet Control Commission can be assured of a regular means of transport for personnel, supplies and mail.

This is also No. 3 to AmEmbassy, Moscow, and No. 4 to AmPolAd.16

  1. Maj. Gen. John A. Crane, U.S.A., Chief of the U.S. military representation on the Allied Control Commission (ACC) for Bulgaria.
  2. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  3. American Political Adviser (Alexander C. Kirk) on the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, at Caserta.