740.00119 Council/1–1546: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State32


471. Delsec 137. From the Secretary for the Acting Secretary. I have discussed with Ambassador Harriman33 the work of the Commission sent to Rumania under the Moscow decision. Harriman reports that following the appointment of the two new Ministers in the Rumanian Govt, as already reported, Groza sent to the Ambassadors [Page 570] on January 8 a declaration of the Rumanian Govt to the effect that free and unfettered elections would be held in Rumania as soon as possible, and that the required assurances as set forth in the Moscow decision regarding freedom of the press, speech, et cetera, would be put into effect.34 On January 9 the Ambassadors had a conversation with Groza in which he gave certain supplementary and interpretative oral assurances regarding the elections and the granting of freedoms.35

It is Harriman’s recommendation,36 with which I am in complete accord, that with a view to insuring as far as possible the strict adherence of the Rumanian Govt to the written and oral commitments it has made, it would be advisable to send a formal note in which these engagements are set forth with some precision by way of reply to Groza’s note. I understand that the British Govt intends also to take action along these lines.

The procedure which I accordingly propose is as follows:

That the Dept instruct its representative at Bucharest to send a note to the Rumanian Govt along the lines of the draft quoted below;
That the note, together with any acknowledgments thereto which may be received be made public a sufficient time being given for the Rumanian Government to make a reply if it so desires. It would probably be preferable to publish the note at the time recognition of the Rumanian Government is announced;
That it be recommended to the President that after the lapse of only a sufficient interval to enable the Rumanian Government to acknowledge this communication if it so desires, we proceed with the establishment of diplomatic relations with the reconstituted Rumanian Government;
That the United States representative at Bucharest be instructed to report on instances of violation of the agreement, and that such instances, if substantiated be then brought to the attention of the British and Soviet Govts and, with or without similar action on the part of these Govts, made the subject of protest to the Rumanian Govt, each such instance then to be made public;
That the text of the proposed communication to the Rumanian Govt be made available to the British and Soviet Govts.

The note to be addressed to the President of the Council of Ministers of the Rumanian Govt as proposed above would be somewhat as follows:

  • “Paragraph 1. The Govt of the US of America has taken note of the communication of January 8, 1946, addressed to Ambassador William Averell Harriman by the President of the Council of Ministers, [Page 571] Dr. Petru Groza, enclosing a declaration of the Rumanian Govt made at a meeting of the Council of Ministers on January 8. According to this declaration the Council of Ministers considered it indispensable that:
    General elections should be held in the shortest time possible.
    The freedom of these elections shall be assured. They shall be held on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot with the participation of all democratic and anti-Fascist parties which shall have the right to present candidates.
    Freedom of the press, speech, religion and assembly shall be assured.
  • “Paragraph 2. The Govt of the US has been advised of the conversation which took place on January 9th between the President of the Council of Ministers, and the American and British Ambassadors. It has taken note of the oral explanation of the aforementioned declaration which the President of the Council of Ministers made to the American and British Ambassadors in this conversation to the effect that:
    All political parties represented in the Rumanian Govt shall have the right to participate in the elections and to put forward candidates.
    The examination of the balloting procedure and counting of the ballots shall take place in the presence of representatives of all the political parties represented in the Govt.
    All political parties represented in the Govt shall be accorded equitable broadcasting facilities for the presentation of their political views.
    All political parties represented in the Govt shall have equal rights to print, publish and distribute their own newspapers and political publications. Newsprint shall be distributed to them on a fair and equitable basis.
    All political parties represented in the Govt shall have the right to organize associations and hold meetings. They shall be allowed premises for this purpose.
    The Council of Ministers will consult with the representatives of the political parties in order to reach agreement concerning the grant of freedom of the press and speech as well as on questions relating to the drafting of the electoral law and the conduct of the elections.
  • “Paragraph 3. The Govt of the US has taken note of the statement contained in the declaration of the Rumanian Govt that the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Cults and Propaganda will be charged with the implementation of the decisions contained in the declaration. It understands from the statement of the President of the Council that these Ministries will not act on their own responsibility but under the close control of the Govt as a whole. Although these Ministries will be charged with the technical implementation of these decisions, the Rumanian Govt as reconstituted will bear the primary responsibility for their fulfillment and for safeguarding the interests of all the participating parties.
  • “Paragraph 4. As for the decision to hold elections in the shortest time possible, the Govt of the US confidently expects that arrangements will be undertaken with despatch and would hope that it may be possible to hold the elections at the end of April or early in May of this year.
  • “Paragraph 5. On the basis of the assurances contained in the declaration of the Rumanian Govt and on the understanding that the oral statement of the President of the Council of Ministers as set forth above, reflects the intentions of the Rumanian Govt, the Govt of the US is prepared to recognize the Govt of Rumania.

Please submit this text and the accompanying recommendations to the President. I should like to convey to the President my recommendation that Mr. Burton Y. Berry, who is at the present time our Representative at Bucharest be appointed the regular Minister at least to be continued at that post until after the general Rumanian elections.37


[On January 20, 1946, Ambassador Harriman, who returned to Moscow on January 18, conferred with Foreign Commissar Molotov. Their conversation dealt in part with the results of the Rumanian Commission regarding the general situation in Rumania. For the record of this conversation, see memorandum of January 20, 1946, page 679.]

  1. The Secretary of State was in London to attend the opening meetings of the First Part of the First Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
  2. Ambassador Harriman traveled from Bucharest to London to confer with the Secretary on the results of the work of the Rumanian Commission.
  3. For text of declaration of January 8 by the Rumanian Government, see telegram 33, January 9, from Bucharest, p. 561.
  4. For record of the conservation under reference, see p. 562.
  5. Harriman’s recommendations were set forth in a memorandum to the Secretary, dated January 14 (874.00/1–146).
  6. A copy of this telegram was sent to President Truman under cover of a memorandum from Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson dated January 16. Telegram 536, January 17, to the Secretary at London, stated that the President approved the course of action proposed by the Secretary provided that the British Government acted prior to or simultaneously with the United States and that the last phrase of paragraph 5 of the proposed note to the Rumanian Government was amended to read: “The Government of the United States is prepared to give favorable consideration to recognizing the Government of Rumania.” (871.01/1–1646)