740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–2345: Telegram

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

440. The events in Bucharest on February 24, when anti-government agitation by minority groups created disorders involving some bloodshed, have confirmed the conviction forced upon the Department by developments in Rumania during the last few weeks that prompt and effective measures should be taken by the three principal Allies to stabilize the political situation in that country. Allied responsibilities under the Atlantic Charter,58 obligations implied in the Rumanian armistice and the decisions taken at the Crimea Conference, as well as the practical war ends to be served, permit no escape from the responsibilities of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States for ensuring the continuity of a broadly representative governmental regime in Rumania in this period.

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We have felt for some time that the continued possession of arms by certain minority political elements not only constituted a serious threat to the orderly evolution of political events in the country but was unduly discriminatory and otherwise unjustified. Other factors that seemed destined to disturb the situation have been: (a) the suppression of the liberal democratic press by ACC action (as in the case of National Liberal newspaper Viitorul) or other means (such as denial of printing facilities by the Printers’ Union); (b) inadequate means at the disposal of the government for the maintenance of order; and (c) the Allied failure to provide the Rumanians with political guidance on the basis of consultation among the three members of the Control Commission. We have not lent credence to the many reports and seeming indications of official Soviet support of the minority attacks on the government, although there remains little doubt that there have been instances in which local Soviet officials have, on the spot and on their own authority, afforded encouragement to disruptive actions. We have also noted with some concern the support given the Rumanian Communists by the official Soviet press (your 504 February 2159 and 532 February 2360). In particular, we are astonished to learn that General Vinogradov failed to call a meeting of the ACC on February 24 when urgently requested to do so by General Schuyler, as well as his British colleague, to consider Allied action on the rapidly developing political crisis.

Making such use as you deem appropriate of our views as given above and, having in mind the propositions contained in the Department’s telegram to Bucharest of February 24, repeated to you as 416,60a please inform the Soviet Government of the Department’s considered opinion that: (1) the coalition form of government in Rumania should be preserved in the present period and that a National Democratic Front or other exclusive party government would be unacceptable; (2) prompt and effective measures should be taken to ensure the government adequate military means and support to enable it to restore order and maintain its authority; (3) immediate dispositions should be made to ensure freedom of the press in Rumania subject to Article XVI of the Armistice Agreement; (4) all political party or other special groups should be totally disarmed; and (5) arrangements should be made for full consultation among the three members of the [Page 484] ACC regarding major Rumanian political matters affecting the interests and responsibilities of the three Allied Governments.

You should say that the Department very much hopes to receive the concurrence of the Soviet and British Governments to the foregoing essential propositions on the Rumanian political situation and would welcome an indication of the Soviet views. You should, in particular, ask for assurances that the Soviet Chairman of the Commission will be given such instructions as will eradicate any doubt that the American member is in a position to have a meeting of the ACC called when in his judgment there are urgent and sufficient reasons to do so.

Sent to Moscow; repeated to Bucharest, London, and Caserta.61

  1. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367. The Atlantic Charter was incorporated into the Declaration by United Nations, January 1, 1942, ibid., 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  2. Not printed; it reported on despatches published in the Moscow press on February 19 and 20 which continued the campaign of the Soviet press in agitation for replacement of the Radescu Cabinet by a government of the Soviet-oriented National Democratic Front (871.00/2–2145).
  3. Not printed; it reported that the current issue of War and the Working Class and Pravda for February 22 had devoted major articles to the political crisis in Rumania which continued the Soviet press campaign for a radical change in the Rumanian Government (871.00/2–2345).
  4. See footnote 53, p. 480.
  5. As telegrams 92, 1503, and 176, respectively.