The Representative in Rumania (Berry) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 16—11:50 p.m.]
188. At the Palace this afternoon the King took me aside to tell me of conversations he had this morning with two Cabinet Ministers.
Tatarescu had called and brought with him the American note of February 5 and the Rumanian reply of February 7. Tatarescu explained that before Vyshinski left Bucharest he told Ambassadors Harriman and Clark Kerr that any further conversations they might have with Rumanian officials would be considered private talks. Bearing this in mind, the Rumanian Government in answering American note had no choice but to ignore the subject of freedoms inasmuch as a discussion on that subject would be based upon Groza’s conversations with the Ambassadors which according to Russian view were only private conversations. Tatarescu added that any other form of reply would have offended seriously Vyshinski and the Soviet Government.
The King said he had received this morning General Rascanu, Minister of War. The Minister came to get the King’s signature to a decree law which would permit the Government to retire 8,000 officers from army. The King agreed that Officer Corps should be reduced as was normal at end of any war but he thought that fundamental changes of this nature should be undertaken only by Government that would be formed after elections. He added for my information that process planned by this Government would leave on active list only officers of Communist sympathy. Minister took away his decree unsigned.
The King said that he had also refused to sign a decree incorporating into gendarmerie a corps of officers and men of the Tudor Vladimirescu Division (former Rumanian prisoners of war trained, re-equipped and returned to Rumania by Soviet authorities) for this would bring the gendarmerie under the direct control of the Communist Party. He asked if I knew that officers and men of Tudor Vladimirescu Division had been placed as instructors in every regiment in his army. He said that he had information that some of these men were openly speaking against him in their “instructions” to soldiers pointing out the advantages that life holds in neighboring republican states.
The King told me that he was beginning to receive complaints from members of Government that the two recently appointed Ministers of State were not cooperating loyally with the Government. Moreover the Government claims that the newspapers which are the official organs [Page 578] of the Peasant and Liberal Parties are critical and disloyal to the Government. The King commented that the officials of the Government well knew how to criticize but they had not learned how to take criticism. He recalled that Groza had said that within 3 weeks after the departure of the Allied Commission the Government would have things in hand as securely as it had had before the arrival of the Commission. The King remarked that although such is not today a fact yet the tendency clearly is in this direction.
Repeated to London as 35 and Moscow as 3.
[On February 21, 1946, a note was delivered to the Soviet Government regarding the failure to bring about revisions in the procedures of the Allied Control Commissions for Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. Instructions for the delivery of this note were contained in telegram 295, February 15, 1946, to Moscow, page 74. For text of the Soviet note of March 22, 1946, rejecting the American representations, see telegram 940, March 25, from Moscow, page 89.]