811.91274/2–1045: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union ( Kennan )66

293. On February 5 Associated Press carried story from Rome quoting public relations officers at Allied headquarters as saying that prolonged negotiations had failed to gain access for American and British correspondents as a group to any Balkan country except Greece.

Queried at press conference if Department had participated in negotiations for such right of entry, Acting Secretary replied affirmatively, adding was policy of Department to support applications vigorously.

Meanwhile word received from Barnes at Sofia of receipt of telegram from PRO Caserta urging he expedite application correspondents at Caserta seeking entry Bulgaria. Only name mentioned by Barnes was that of Clay Gowran of Chicago Tribune. Tribune has queried Department regarding Gowran asking its good offices.

Requests have also been received by Department from Overseas News Agency regarding Constantine Paulos now at Athens seeking entry into Bulgaria and Henry H. Frank seeking entry into Hungary. [Page 158] Please bring these applications to attention of Foreign Office and keep Department informed of developments. In view of the increasing concern in American press circles at the exclusion of American correspondents from Balkan areas under Soviet control, and considering the statement of the Acting Secretary referred to above, these and other applications by American correspondents should, at your discretion, be pressed with vigor.

  1. Repeated to Caserta as 124, to Athens as 126, to Sofia as 34, and to Bucharest as 68.