871.00/2–846: Telegram

The Representative in Rumania (Berry) to the Secretary of State


159. I am privately informed that the Political Committee of the Communist Party found our note of February 5 entirely unacceptable. The Committee took Groza to task for having laid himself open to a point where we could send such a note to the Rumanian Government. But Groza claimed generally his innocence and particularly that he had made no commitments to hold elections this Spring. To support his point, he is said to have referred to his conversation with the King (see mytel 37 of January 1040) and his stenographic notes of his conversation with Ambassador Harriman and Clark Kerr (see mytel 48, January 12). The Committee accepted his explanation and also accepted Tatarescu’s offer to find a way out. Tatarescu’s way was to ignore the essence of our note and send a brief acknowledgment over his own signature (remytel 158, February 7, 8 p.m.41).

If the Department will refer to Ambassador Harriman’s telegrams No. 2 of January 21, 2 p.m. and 25, January 31 [telegrams No. 2 of January 2, noon, and 5, January 3, 1 p.m.], both sent from this Mission, it will recall that the Ambassador felt considerable skepticism of the sincerity of Mr. Groza and his collaborators in giving the assurances required by the Moscow Decision. If the Department will reread my subsequent telegrams it will see that the Ambassador’s skepticism has been fully justified. It has been suggested by Hatieganu and Romniceanu that only those freedoms have been given, which if denied would have immediately been evidence of sabotaging the Moscow Decision, and that these have been given tardily and reluctantly. I have seen no evidence of an effort on the part of the Government to cooperate wholeheartedly in implementing the Moscow Decision. On the contrary the line that I suggested in mytel 1031, December 30, 7 p.m.42 that the Communist Party would continue to pull the strings that control Groza’s action is confirmed. In this connection I report that this evening 6 hours after I had the Government’s reply, I was told personally by Romniceanu and I received word from Hatieganu that they had not yet seen the official texts of the American and British notes, and that the notes were not discussed at the Cabinet meeting on February 6.

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In analyzing recent developments against this background we can establish that the Groza government jumped the gun in announcing recognition, that it arranged a public demonstration in self-glorification for having secured recognition, and that in an official note it has ignored the very essence of our communication. We have reason to believe that this latter course has been dictated by the Political Committee of the Communist Party rather than by the Cabinet. I believe that the reason for these tactics goes much beyond the problem of our recognition of the Groza government. It springs from the fundamental desire of the Communist Party to minimize the influence of the western democracies in Rumania and to discredit the public statements of our national leaders. Since Propaganda Minister Constantinescu-Iasi said that recognition was a fact, I have heard that local Communists are now quoting with a wink the sixth point (American non-recognition of governments imposed by foreign powers) in President Truman’s statement of American foreign policy as most recently expressed in the State of the Union message.43 Feeling they have made good progress in discrediting statements of President Truman they are now seeking to discredit the work in Rumania of the American and British Ambassadors in Moscow by avoiding confirmation of commitments made by Groza to the Ambassadors. Should we accept this Rumanian reply we will be playing directly into the hands of those persons whose object is to undermine now and to eliminate eventually our influence in Rumania.

From this observation post it seems that our future line is clear. It should be based on the fact that Mr. Groza accepted the Moscow decision and gave commitments to our Ambassador. After studying those commitments the American Government has made a statement of its understanding of these commitments and has asked a confirmation. We should not let Groza, or the Communist Party in Rumania, get by with confusing what is a clear issue. In my opinion we should follow the Tatarescu note with one addressed to Groza stating that the reply made by Mr. Tatarescu is unsatisfactory and that it is pointless to discuss the name of a person to go to Washington to represent Rumania until Mr. Groza has confirmed the salient features we made in our note of February 5. This note should be sent immediately and should be made public immediately, along with the reply we have received from Tatarescu. If we follow this course we must realize that we are entering an avenue which may be turned into an impasse by Groza’s refusal to reply. But weighing all facts as I see them in [Page 576] Bucharest, I believe that this is a necessary risk and one that is certainly preferable to the alternative of making ourselves a party to Groza’s efforts to sabotage the Moscow Decision.

No. 159; repeated to Moscow as 31 and London as 30.

  1. Not printed; it reported that Prime Minister Groza had informed King Michael that he desired that the elections be held after the peace conference when there would be fewer troops in Rumania and after the completion of the purge program in private enterprise and public administration (871.00/1–1046).
  2. Not printed; it transmitted the text of Tatarescu’s note of February 7 to Mr. Berry, cited in the bracketed note, supra.
  3. Not printed.
  4. For text of President Truman’s message to Congress, January 21, 1946, on the State of the Union and on the Budget for 1947, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1946 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1962), p. 36.