871.00/1–346: Telegram

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


5. Secret for the Secretary from Harriman. Yesterday I had long talks separately with Maniu, Bratianu and Mihalache.8 They are all extremely skeptical that there can be free elections unless there is a change in the Ministries of Interior and Justice. They intend to endeavor to get the support of the King to this end and hope to negotiate some concession with the Govt. I told them that I could not associate myself with this question as the subject was not covered by the Moscow decisions. Clark Kerr has taken the same position in his conversations with them. It seems unlikely that they will obtain any concession as I have been reliably informed that Vyshinski has told the Govt to make no concessions.

The parties expect to nominate their candidates today. If agreement is reached on the candidates, which may take place today, the Commission’s work will be completed. The reorganized Govt will then presumably offer assurances that they intend to hold free elections [Page 557] and grant the specified freedoms of the press, assembly, etc. I doubt the sincerity with which these assurances will be given on the part of the present members of the Govt. I assume that recognition will not be given until we are satisfied that the specified freedoms have in fact been put into effect. I recommend further that the steps to be taken by the Govt in connection with the elections is [be?] currently scrutinized and objection made if they are not satisfactory.

I assume that even if we recognize this Government we would not necessarily recognize the Government resulting from the election unless we were reasonably satisfied with the conduct of the election. If we maintain this position throughout and allow it to be known to the Govt at the time of recognition, I believe there is a better chance that the election may conform more closely to the Govt’s undertakings.

Vyshinski plans to leave Bucharest immediately after agreement on the candidates is reached. I expect to stay on in Bucharest at least one day after Vyshinski’s departure to have an opportunity for consultation with Schuyler9 and Berry.10

Sent to Dept as No. 5 repeated to Moscow as No. 2.

  1. Ion Mihalache was a leader of the Rumanian National Peasant Party. The memoranda concerning these conversations are included in the American Official Record of the Rumanian Commission in file 871.00/1–146.
  2. Brig. Gen. Cortlandt T. Van R. Schuyler, U.S.A., Chief, United States Representation, Allied Control Commission for Rumania.
  3. Burton Y. Berry, United States Representative in Rumania.