740.00119 Control (Rumania)/3–646: Telegram
The Representative in Rumania (Berry) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:30 p.m.]
271. Soviet officials have informed Rumanians that the Americans desire to alter the Transylvanian frontier in favor of Hungary (see my telegrams 961 of Dec 8, 1 p.m. and 1006, Dec 21, 1 p.m.47). In repeating this information Groza Govt officials hammer home the point that the Soviet Govt is the defender of Rumania against a projected [Page 580] Anglo-American aggression. Moreover, they have reminded the Rumanians that the Soviet Govt, during the armistice negotiations, desired to return the whole of northern Transylvania unequivocally to Rumania, but was prevented from so doing by the insistence of Mr. Churchill that the final settlement be held over for the Peace Conference.
The King had raised the question of the maintenance of the present frontiers to me (see my telegram 246 of Feb 26  7 p.m.) and to Mr. Le Rougetel (see Amembassy London telegram 2495 to the Dept; repeated to Bucharest as No 1648).
Marshal of the Court,49 in a recent conversation with me stressed the importance of the subject, saying that the Rumanian peasant was unimpressed by the fact that six cyphers have been added to “national budget because of Soviet demands, but the same peasant will be profoundly impressed by the moving of a frontier post a few kilometers. The Marshal added that the discussions in London were being represented in Rumania as a tug of war between the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets, with the Soviets pulling on the Rumanian side.
He said that the story of the American proposal is reacting among Rumanians of all political parties to the advantage of the Soviet Govt and the Rumanian Communist Party. Moreover, if the Americans maintain their attitude in discussing the treaty terms with Rumanian officials, and that discussion precedes the Rumanian elections, the Americans will be presenting an electoral victory to the Communist-backed Groza government.
After giving this subject very careful consideration, it is my belief that (1) the Soviet authorities have consistently sought, and will continue to seek, to confirm the present frontier between Rumania and Hungary; (2) this attitude is increasing the prestige in Rumania of the Soviet Govt; (3) our suggestion to make minor rectifications in the frontier on ethnic grounds touches all Rumanians on a very sensitive spot and will cause our prestige to diminish if our pressure is maintained; and (4) the Hungarians, in view of the presence of heavily concentrated groups deep in Rumania, will likely be as dissatisfied as the Rumanians with our efforts if we press to establish the principle of rectification of the frontier for ethnic reasons and then apply the principle only within a few kilometers of the present frontier.
Not being informed of the development of the Dept’s policy on frontier realignments I hesitate to make a recommendation concerning the Transylvanian frontier. I do suggest, however, in view of the conclusions that I have stated above, that consideration be given to the thought that the solution of the problem of the alteration in the [Page 581] Transylvanian frontier be sought within the framework of the UNO, rather than at the Peace Conference.
Sent to Dept repeated to London as 52, Moscow as 51 and Budapest as 5.