740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–2845: Telegram

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

146. During the luncheon hour Vishinsky demanded an audience with the King for 3:30.

According to the Foreign Minister, who was present Vishinsky began the interview by asking the King’s decision on the suggestion made last evening that the Radescu government be replaced. (See my telegram No. 142 of February 27, 12 p.m.69) The King answered that he had communicated this information to General Radescu and that he had started his consultation among party leaders for the purpose of choosing a Prime Minister designate.

Vishinsky said that such an answer was unsatisfactory. Rising and looking at his wrist watch he said “You have just 2 hours and 5 minutes to make it known to the public that General Radescu has been dismissed. By 8 o’clock you must inform the public of the name of his successor”.

At this point Visoianu said the King was a constitutional monarch and as such he had to proceed in a constitutional manner. The King could not select a Prime Minister but could only consult party leaders and then follow their advice in charging someone to attempt to form a government. Vishinsky replied he did not wish to be interrupted by Visoianu not having come to hear Visoianu’s ideas. He proceeded to say that General Radescu had continued protecting Fascists and, by [Page 488] retiring a group of 10 officers yesterday under royal decree had performed an unfriendly act toward the Soviets. This decree must be annulled immediately.

Visoianu told me that the King acceded to this request after which Vishinsky abruptly left the room banging the door as he went.

According to Visoianu the King will announce at 8 o’clock that he has asked Prince Stirbey70 to form a government, Prince Stirbey will accept.71

Repeated to Moscow as 28.

  1. See footnote 65, p. 485.
  2. Prince Barbu Stirbey, a former Rumanian Prime Minister and a leading participant in the Rumanian-Allied surrender talks in Cairo and Moscow in 1944.
  3. Telegram 148, February 28, 7 p.m., from Bucharest, reported that the communiqué announcing that Prince Stirbey had been asked to form a government was suppressed by the Soviet censors and that the National Democratic Front had refused to participate in a government not under their control (740.00119 Control (Rumania)/3–145).