840.4016/10–2945: Telegram

The Representative in Hungary (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

830. I spoke to Foreign Minister today in sense of your 563, October 19 and left memorandum confirming my oral statement. When I inquired (my telegram 520, August 31) as to his view of reason for apparent interest of Russians here in this matter, he said Russian attitude was “unclear”. Gyöngyösi said he had reason to believe statements made particularly by Slovak Communists to effect that Soviet Government had approved proposed expulsion of Hungarians in Czechoslovakia may have been based on certain promises made by Russian Pan-Slav advocates, authenticity of which, however, was not admitted by Soviet representatives here. Russians nevertheless, seemed inclined to consider question of expulsion of Hungarians from Czechoslovakia as related to proposed expulsion from Hungary of German minority. Gyöngyösi said it was not appreciated that Hungary proposed under Potsdam Agreement to expel only some 200,000 Germans who had shown themselves to be definitely Nazi-minded but was anxious to keep Germans who had been loyal and were practically assimilated in this country. Nor was it fair to exchange Slovak population here without its own consent for Hungarians in Czechoslovakia. Hungarian Government did not believe more than 10,000 to 15,000 Slovaks would consent freely to leave this country while expulsion of [Page 939] Hungarians from Czechoslovakia involved half million Hungarians who were being given no opportunity to express themselves regarding return to Hungary.

Referring to charge that Hungary’s agitation of this question had revisionist purpose, Gyöngyösi said it would obviously be desirable if large excess of Hungarians over expelled Germans and Slovaks were thrust into Hungary that such Hungarians should have some land on which to live after having been settled on it for centuries.

Gyöngyösi said he had received invitation 4 or 5 days ago from Czechoslovakian Representative here to undertake direct negotiations on this matter, but had pointed out that in view of impending national election here it would be best to postpone such negotiations until new govt takes office. This may be result of recent visit of Hungarian Social Democrat leaders last week to Praha where press reports they discussed minority problem with Czech leaders.

At my suggestion Gyöngyösi indicated he would prepare as subjective and factual statement as possible regarding this problem and communicate it to me and representatives of other Allied Govts here. I expect to examine possibility of independent investigation by ourselves or by Gen Key’s mission in near future, but of course, refrained from intimating any such intention in talking with Hungarian Foreign Minister.

Sent Dept; repeated to Praha as 14.