Department of Defense Files: Telegram

The Chief of the United States Military Representation on the Allied Control Commission for Rumania (Schuyler) to the War Department

M 460. At my urgent request, Vinogradov called a meeting yesterday of the three chief representatives, ACC, to discuss present critical political situation in Rumania.

AVM Stevenson37 presented a written protest on behalf of British Government against recent closing by ACC of a number of newspapers representing national peasant and liberal parties.

He pointed out that in many cases liaisons [reasons?] given did not appear to justify such harsh action, with the result that ACC was placed in position of appearing to support FND38 parties as opposed to historic parties.

He urged early authorization for reopening of Viitorul, National Liberal paper recently closed, under allocation of available raw paper supply so as to provide corresponding amounts to newspapers representing each of the various political parties.

Vinogradov replied he would study the problem and give a full [Page 473] answer later. For details on Viitorul closing see my M–459 dated 21st February.39

As meeting progressed, reports began to arrive of actual armed conflict between FND and historic party adherents at Malaza factory, Bucharest.

(See my message M 457 dated 21st February) .39

Vinogradov expressed himself as opposed to civil war at all costs. He also indicated necessity under Yalta agreements for continuation of a coalition government. He said more frequent and more intimate contacts between the three chief representatives were urgently needed, and he called on us for advice and assistance.

He expressed particular pleasure at my recent suggestions for improvement of liaison between US and Russian section (see my M–445 dated 19th February39) and said they would be adopted at once.

I pointed out my serious concern over entire situation and called attention to fact that in the provinces various groups representing political parties had attempted by force to take over agencies of the national government.

I expressed fear that such movements might spread rapidly with resulting serious interference with Rumania’s war effort.

I urged necessity for strong action by the Allied Control Commission in an effort to avoid civil war and insure political stability in the country. Specifically, I recommended that the ACC issue a public statement to the following effect:40

  • “1. That under the terms of the Yalta agreement, the Allied Control Commission has the responsibility of insuring that, until such time as free elections can be held, Rumania shall be administered by a coalition government in which all existing political parties are represented.
  • 2. That subject to the conditions under paragraph 1, above, the Rumanian state, under its King, is entirely free to select the individuals who shall form its government in any manner in which it may see fit. Such a government, however, once formed, must show itself capable of maintaining order and carrying out the terms of the armistice.
  • 3. That during the period of hostilities against Germany, any attempt by individuals, parties or groups of parties to overthrow the government or any of its agencies by force is considered by the Commission to be an act of sabotage against the war effort and therefore will not be tolerated. Also that the holding of mass meetings or [Page 474] political demonstrations at such times as may take workers from their war tasks is regarded by the Commission with disfavor.”

Stevenson stated that as British Commissioner he supported in full all my statements and recommendations.

Vinogradov agreed to consider the matter carefully and to furnish a specific answer to my recommendations.

While indicating much pleasure over Vinogradov’s plans for closer liaison, nevertheless on basis of past experience I am by no means certain that the full measure of cooperation desired by this delegation will be achieved.

My stenographer was present throughout interview and took shorthand notes of all conversations. Full report follows by mail.42

  1. Air Vice Marshal Donald Stevenson, British High Commissioner in Rumania.
  2. National Democratic Front, formed at the end of 1944 and composed of the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union, the United Trade Unions, the Ploughmen’s Front, the Hungarian Popular Union, and other “left-wing” organizations.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Telegram 89, February 24, 9 p.m., to Bucharest, expressed Department’s approval of the proposal made by General Schuyler to General Vinogradov and approved Representative Berry’s agreement to General Schuyler’s taking that step (740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–2145).
  7. The Minutes of the Joint Meeting of Senior Representatives of the Allied Control Commission for Rumania on February 21, 1945, were transmitted to the Department in despatch 132, February 22, 1945, from Bucharest; neither printed.