740.00119 Control (Rumania)/1–445: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the American Representative in Bumama (Berry)

47. Reurtel 11 January 4. The Department recognizes that the Rumanian Government has some ground for its request for cobelligerent status. The wording of the Armistice Agreement itself (Articles I and XI) indicated that Rumania had, already at the time of signature, made a contribution to Allied military operations against Germany and under the terms of the Armistice would wage war as an active belligerent, its troops fighting under Allied (Soviet) Command. At the time of the presentation of armistice terms to the Rumanian delegates in Moscow, the latter were given to understand by the representatives of the three Allied Governments that Rumania would at some later date be granted cobelligerent status. We also feel that Rumania’s actual military contribution has been such as to merit some recognition.

Although the granting of cobelligerent status to Rumania would introduce a complicating factor in the legal situation and would probably be utilized as a precedent for like requests by other ex-satellites the Department would not oppose granting Rumania cobelligerent status should the matter of a declaration to that effect by the three principal Allies be raised. We are not inclined, however, to take the initiative in recommending it. The British Embassy has informed the Department that the British Government opposes the granting of cobelligerency to Rumania chiefly because Rumanian cobelligerency would serve as a precedent for Bulgaria, to which the British do not want to grant that status.

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We have never considered that Rumania was entitled to participate in any way in the armistice negotiations with Hungary (reurtel 10 January 411) and see no reason to change our attitude in this regard.

It is not contemplated that there should be formal diplomatic relations between Rumania and the principal Allied Governments for the present, but whether such relations will be delayed until the conclusion of peace with Rumania will depend on the situation as it develops. There would appear to be no objection to informal Rumanian representation in any of the capitals of the three principal Allied Governments if, in the opinion of the Allied Government concerned, it would facilitate the execution of the armistice agreement and the protection of that country’s interests in Rumania. The matter of Rumanian representation in Moscow (reurtel 55 December 1212) is, in the Department’s opinion, one for settlement between the Soviet and Rumanian Governments. The Department does not see any need at present for Rumanian representation in Washington (reurtel 24 November 2413).

Exchange of representatives between Rumania and Allied nations other than the three signatories to the Armistice is, in the Department’s opinion, a matter for the decision of the three principal Allied Governments, acting in the first instance through their representative on the ACC.14 Normal diplomatic relations between such Allied nations and Rumania will presumably not be resumed until the conclusion of peace and we do not feel that Rumanian representation in those countries is necessary at the present time. (Reurtel 62, January 2415) We think it desirable, however, that Allied nations which have requested representation in Rumania, such as Greece and Belgium [Page 468] (repeat Belgium, not Bulgaria as erroneously stated in second paragraph of Department’s 25 January 1516), should be permitted to send consular or other civilian representatives for the purpose of protecting their interests (see Moscow’s 175 January 18, 10 p.m. to Department repeated to you as 1216a). You are accordingly authorized to support, in your discretion and in whatever manner may appear appropriate, the requests of such Allied states for such representation.

Resumption of diplomatic relations between Rumania and other former enemy states, such as Italy and Bulgaria, during the armistice period seems to the Department to be inappropriate. The most that should be permitted is the exchange of informal representatives (reurtel 83 December 3117).

Sent to Bucharest; repeated to Moscow.18

  1. Not printed; it reported that Rumanian Foreign Minister Visoianu, in conversation with Berry on January 3, 1945, had expressed the view of the Rumanian Government that the presence on the Hungarian front of 14 Rumanian divisions had earned for Rumania a more active role in the Hungarian armistice negotiations than that of a simple observer; Visoianu also reviewed the concern of Rumania that the Soviet Union would use the Transylvania issue to bait both Hungary and Rumania (864.01/1–45).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 265.
  4. Allied Control Commission.
  5. Not printed; it reported that at a meeting with General Vinogradov on January 19, General Schuyler had supported Air Vice Marshal Stevenson’s request that Greek and Belgian representatives be authorized to enter Rumania, but that Vinogradov had said that Greek and Belgian representatives should not come to Rumania in view of a statement by Soviet Deputy Foreign Commissar Vyshinsky to the Rumanian Foreign Minister that consideration would not be given to the inauguration of diplomatic relations between Rumania and the smaller nations until full diplomatic relations had been established with the larger nations (702.5471/1–2445).
  6. Not printed; it stated that it was not feasible for the small staff of the American Mission in Bucharest to undertake the protection of the interests of the Greek and Belgian Governments, among others, and it authorized the American Mission to take such informal steps as might seem desirable looking toward the admission into Rumania of Greek and Belgian representatives (702.5471/1–945).
  7. Not printed, but see footnote 48, p. 528.
  8. Not printed; it reviewed the status of foreign Missions in Rumania. The Legations of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Turkey continued to function. The wartime Italian Minister to Rumania was still in Bucharest. French, Yugoslavia, and Bulgarian representatives had also opened offices, but Belgian and Greek representatives had been denied permission by the Allied Control Commission to enter Rumania. A Netherlands representative had also been refused recognition by the ACC but he was remaining in Bucharest to look after Dutch interests. (706.0054/12–3144)
  9. Repeated to Moscow as No. 195.