740.00119 EW/8–2946: Telegram

The Minister in Hungary (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State, at Paris


368. Personal for Secretary. Hungarian Prime Minister called on me last night and asked me to convey following to you on his behalf:

Referring Czechoslovak proposal to include in treaty with Hungary provision for expulsion from Czechoslovakia into Hungary of some two hundred thousand Magyars34 in excess of number affected by existing [Page 848] Czechoslovak agreement for exchange populations, Hungarian Government has reason to expect that if Czechoslovak proposal is defeated at conference Czechoslovaks will be willing to enter into direct negotiations with Hungary for equitable settlement. Soviet Government has given Hungarians to understand it must support Czechoslovak proposal for inclusion in treaties but Hungarian Government has definite impression such support will not be maintained against real opposition. Since American delegation among several others opposes Czechoslovak proposal, Nagy is convinced that if its acceptance by conference is prevented successful direct negotiations between Czechoslovakia and Hungary will be facilitated. He therefore appeals to you on humanitarian grounds to lend your influence against adoption of Czechoslovak proposal by conference.

Nagy went on to say that in implementing exchange agreement through joint Czechoslovak Hungarian Commission Czechoslovaks were endeavoring to include about sixty thousand Magyars in war criminal category whose expulsion with loss of property was contemplated in Hungarian Czechoslovak exchange agreement apart from those to be exchanged for Slovaks volunteering to leave Hungary.35 As result this manifest abuse of agreement, Prime Minister had been forced to order suspension operations of joint commission. He explained this Czechoslovak maneuver as due to fact that of total of more than eighty thousand Slovaks who had registered for repatriation some fifty thousand or more have lately declared unwillingness to leave Hungary with more defections daily from remaining registrants because of advantages they seek in current financial stabilization in Hungary.

Turning to Transylvania matter, Prime Minister intimated desire to submit following suggestion to you. He said that at session of Rumanian Subcommittee August 27 Australian delegate had pointed out Hungarian Foreign Minister in his opening address to conference had claimed small part of Transylvania notwithstanding decision of CFM last May to grant entire area to Rumania. As result of Australian delegate’s reminder there was debate on subject in Rumanian Subcommittee.36 Nagy hoped it might be possible to bring about joint session of Hungarian and Rumanian Subcommittees at conference to consider this matter thus affording opportunity to reopen discussion on merits and perhaps to hear argument of Hungarian delegation.

[Page 849]

Mentioning internal situation in Hungary, Nagy repeated that it remains his policy to avoid action that might force leftist minority into open opposition with possibility of civil war which would jeopardize progress being made in economic and social matters. This progress redounds steadily to advantage of democratic majority in this country. As Hungary is surrounded by Communist controlled states his policy Prime Minister said is designed to preserve only remaining democracy in this part of Europe and to afford no pretext for its submergence by Marxists who would profit from challenging attitude towards Communists desired by many short sighted members majority party. He earnestly hoped United States would ease accomplishment this difficult policy by understanding help.37

Concluding Nagy expressed belief United States is only great power whose policy is founded on moral principle rather than on considerations of political or strategic advantage. Therefore United States is only bulwark against conclusion of treaties founded on such consideration which might preclude attainment enduring peace. His conviction, in this respect, he said, explains present personal appeal to you.

Sent Paris for Secdel: as 368; repeated Department 1640.

  1. The Czechoslovak proposal was contained in C.P.(Gen)Doc.1.Q.5; for text of proposed Article to follow Article 4 of treaty, see p. 727.
  2. For documentation on the Czechoslovak-Hungarian exchange of populations question, see vol. vi, pp. 361 ff.
  3. For text of the Hungarian opening address under reference, see the extract of the Verbatim Record of the 17th Plenary Meeting, August 14, vol. iii, p. 210. For documentation on the CFM decision on Transylvania, see vol. ii, index entry under Transylvania. Regarding consideration of the subject by the Political and Territorial Commission for Rumania, see the United States Delegation Journal account of the 5th Meeting of that body, August 29, vol. iii, p. 311.
  4. For documentation on U.S. interest in the maintenance of democratic government in Hungary, see vol. vi, pp. 250 ff.