840.4016/3–2746: Telegram

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


591. In accordance with Deptel 127, February 4,39 I informed Hungarian ForMin that our Government did not consider feasible formation of international commission to examine Czecho-Hungarian minority problem. (My despatch 1060, February 11.40)

Hungarians have been told several times previously of our desire controversy be settled by direct negotiations between two Governments.

Mytel 297, February 12.40

Hungarians and Czechs have now agreed on limited voluntary exchange of population but have failed to resolve problem of disposition Hungarians remaining in Czecho after completion minority exchange. As suggested in my 565, March 2240 which evidently crossed Deptel 293, March 21,41 Czechs now appear to desire a three-power démarche to bring pressure on Hungarian Govt to accept additional 200,000 of Hungarian minority. Remaining Hungarians in Czecho would be dispersed or at least deprived of minority rights. Whether purposely or not, Clementis gave impression Hungarians had expressed willingness to accept three-power intervention supporting his proposal (Praha’s 345, March 7). My information is that Hungarians did not indicate any such willingness.

Virtually every shade informed opinion here feels strongly solution of problem in manner proposed by Clementis would be universally condemned in Hungary as inhumane, preventing attainment cordial relations with Czechs for years to come. Having once informed Hungarians we do not favor formation of international commission to examine the problem and that we wished matter settled by two Governments directly, it seems inconsistent now to suggest that we intervene and to propose settlement in favor of Czechs without having first [Page 367] examined situation as originally requested by Hungarians. From standpoint of substantial justice Hungary’s position as former enemy satellite, as against Czecho status as victorious Allied state, does not appear to be relevant to question of this minority and to larger issue of stabilization in this part of Europe as in its new “democratic” vestments Hungary has been expressly assured of help in attaining equality of status with United Nations.

Aside from British reluctance to persuade Czechs to accept frontier rectification we ourselves have admitted some cogency in Hungarian case as observed in Dept’s territorial studies. For US now to force settlement which Hungarians would not otherwise accept, appears to me to be step backwards in settling such minority problems. I realize, of course, these observations are made without knowledge of Dept’s estimate of importance of this issue in relation to larger issues of foreign policy involved.

Sent Dept, repeated to London for Dunn42 as 149 and Praha.

  1. See footnote 25, p. 361.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Same as telegram 224, March 21, supra.
  6. Assistant Secretary James C. Dunn who was serving in London as Deputy to the Secretary of State at the meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers. At this time, the Council was considering the drafts of peace treaties for Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania.