740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–2445: Telegram

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

90. The Department has noted the disquieting factors in the political situation in Rumania as reported in your telegrams and Schuyler’s messages. We are considering the desirability, particularly in the light of the Crimea conference, of presenting to the Soviet and British Governments concrete proposals for tripartite consultation and action on major political issues in the former Axis satellite countries during the armistice period with a view to ensuring greater political stability in those countries and establishing conditions which will make possible the free choice by these peoples of the forms of government under which they will live.

We believe that it may be useful for you and Schuyler both to be apprised of the Department’s views on some of the more pressing problems in order that you may make known the American position in whatever quarters and by whatever means you may deem desirable. We hope you will have in mind particularly the following:

The Rumanian people should be left in no doubt of the future existence of their country as an independent state.
A coalition government representing all political groups and social classes is, we think, the most suitable means of affording a representative administration in the present period. We would not desire to see an exclusively National Peasant or exclusively National Democratic Front Government, and we would particularly deplore the use or display of force or any political chicanery to bring any one group into power.
Attempts to effect administrative changes by disorderly means or the use of force or intimidation should not be tolerated, although encouragement should be given any endeavors looking to the establishment [Page 479] of procedures whereby local and general elections may be held on the basis of free and secret ballot or other democratic means.
No political groups, whether Communist or other elements, should be permitted to remain in possession of arms, all instruments of force being properly left at the disposition of the governmental authorities and every care being exercised to ensure that these authorities have at their disposal adequate forces and equipment to maintain internal order.
There being apparent no reason to believe that the King is not loyally serving the interests of his country and the Allied cause, and with particular reference to his role in swinging Rumania from the Nazi to the Allied camp, it is difficult to see any justification for attacks on him, particularly at this time when the procedures for ascertaining the national will have not yet been determined.
Not forgetting the encouragement given the Rumanians on the question of cobelligerent status by the Allied representatives at Moscow at the time of the armistice negotiations and at the same time appreciating Rumania’s military assistance in the war, we think that the Rumanian desire for cobelligerent status should have sympathetic consideration.
We understand the Rumanian desire to extend their administration to Northern Transylvania, but hope that they realize that their agitation to this end during the period of active military operations is neither to their own advantage nor conducive to the development of mutual trust and collaboration.
Neither the Allied cause in general nor the Soviet interests in particular can be served by the removal from the country of essential means of production.
Since it is desirable for the American public and world opinion generally to be fully informed of developments in Rumania, as elsewhere, it is important that American and other correspondents should be freely admitted into the country and that their reports should be censored only on the basis of military considerations.
A real freedom of the press, limited only by censorship on military grounds, should be established with access to the necessary materials and facilities.
It is desirable that Rumania be enabled to resume trade with the outside world as soon as conditions permit.
Instructions and directives involving matters of policy should not be issued in the name of the Allied Control Commission without consultation with the American (and British) members of the Commission.

It is of course as a general rule desirable that the American attitude on points such as those treated above should be made known, at least [Page 480] in the first instance, to the Soviet authorities rather than to the Rumanians. You will of course be guided by the trend of events in determining the emphasis or timing of your discussions, whether with the Russians or the Rumanians but the foregoing propositions appear to us to represent the best basis for reaching an agreed Allied policy on Rumanian affairs.

Sent to Bucharest; repeated for information to Moscow and Caserta.53

  1. As telegrams 416 and 167, respectively.