740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/2–1645: Telegram

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

348. Barnes at Sofia has reported72 that notwithstanding the assurances of the Bulgarian Prime Minister73 concerning the safety of the Queen Mother and her two children whose security is a question of Bulgarian “national honor” the Queen appears still to be somewhat anxious regarding the personal safety of her children. She has therefore raised with the Regents the question of immediate departure with her children for a month’s visit to her family in Italy. Kirk has just telegraphed74 that King Victor Emanuel, the Queen’s father, has sent a representative to him to request that the President intercede together with Stalin and Churchill in behalf of Queen Joanna, this appeal coming not “from a former chief of State but from a father and grandfather.” Kirk’s message is being communicated to the White House, for the President’s information upon his return.

Meanwhile, Barnes has been authorized75 to inquire whether the matter has been presented to the ACC at Sofia and if so to request General Crane to indicate to General Biryusov that this Government would concur in favorable action. He will keep you informed. In its instruction to him the Department has said that it thinks that the Bulgarian authorities might properly be expected to make suitable arrangements for the Queen, her children and appropriate suite to travel freely from Bulgaria to visit her relatives in Italy. Upon learning from Barnes that the question is before the ACC you may inform Mr. Molotov of our attitude toward the question, and request that if the Soviet Government concurs it so inform General Biryusov.

The substance of the foregoing is being communicated informally to the British Embassy here, which will inquire whether the Foreign Office will authorize the British representative at Sofia to support action along these lines.

Grew
  1. Telegrams 71, February 5, 1945, 5 p.m., and 88, February 16; neither printed.
  2. Kimon Georgiev.
  3. Telegram 393, February 14, 1945, 10 p.m., from Rome, not printed.
  4. Telegram 39, February 16, 1945, not printed.