874.00/1–3046: Telegram

The Representative in Bulgaria (Barnes) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

104. I learned this morning from my British colleague that Department is today deciding what shall be US position with respect to nonfulfillment of Moscow accord in Bulgarian case and Vyshinski’s insistence that US and UK now join with Moscow in bringing pressure on Bulgarian Opposition to enter Government. Mr. Bevin has asked my British colleague to supply him with last-moment analysis [Page 63] of Bulgarian situation to aid in formulation of British reply to Vyshinski.

Since seeing my British colleague this morning, I have reread my political telegrams beginning with 759, December 1335 in which I tried to portray for benefit of Mr. Byrnes in Moscow considerations of principle involved in Bulgarian case as seen by democratic opinion in this part of world. Fact that basic decision in US policy toward Bulgaria is being taken in Washington today without this Mission having received any reaction from Department to its political telegrams sent since December 13 and that no request for last-minute appreciation of local situation has been received have led me to reexamine my telegrams of past month and half with greatest of care to make sure that I have not failed to point out any factors or developments of importance to accurate appreciation of what is involved in decision that I understand is about to be taken.

[Here follows a brief review of political telegrams sent by Barnes from Sofia since December 13, 1945.]

Foregoing review leads me to conclude that I have left nothing unsaid that is necessary to correct appreciation of situation that actually exists in Bulgaria and on which intelligent and responsive decision could be taken with respect to Mr. Vyshinski’s contention that US and UK should now join with Russia in browbeating Opposition into posture of moral dishonesty and acquiescence. However, even though it may already be too late for this telegram to have any influence on decision of policy, I should like to suggest that there is no half measure or further compromise left for US and UK to adopt in Bulgarian case. Moscow accordingly went beyond half-way mark. Any further concessions by us would in my opinion constitute complete capitulation. Either we stand firm now and fight out issue of free elections for Bulgaria to bitter end with Russia or we assent to consolidation of Communist power here that will assure Russia for long time to come utilization of Bulgaria’s territory for strategic purposes outlined in my telegram 55, January 15 and Moscow’s 132 of January 15; also that we should be mindful of over-all and ultimate effect of Russia’s tactics of persistent nibbling and now see each concession as separate and isolated case of cajoling Russia into better humor. In addition, there are the moral considerations of such documents as Atlantic Charter36 and Yalta Declaration37 that weigh against giving in to Mr. Vyshinski this time.

[Page 64]

Sent Dept as 104; repeated to London as 44 and Moscow as 53.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, p. 410.
  2. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  3. Reference is to the Declaration on Liberated Europe, Part V of the Report of the Crimea Conference, February 4–11, 1945, by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 971.