The Representative in Rumania (Berry) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 12—6:10 a.m.]
297. In the 2 months since the Groza government was reconstituted and gave its formal commitments to the Allied Commission, this Mission has carefully watched and reported by telegraph and despatch the application of popular freedoms as instructed by Deptel 98 of February 12, 1 p.m. A running commentary on the high lights has been supplied by my telegrams and in documentary detail by my despatches such as Nos. 692 of January 15, 718 and 720 of January 29, 760 of February 13 and 316 of March 6.52
Recently, I have had lengthy separate conversations with Dinu Bratianu and Julius Maniu, the National Liberal and National Peasant leaders, who gave me supplementary information which they felt indicated a considered Government program to undercut the intent and operation of the Moscow decisions upon Rumania. They feel recent speeches by the Government and Communist leaders indicate elections will be indefinitely deferred until an NDF coalition unquestioningly can win through manipulation or violence. They point out that although the British and American Governments expected national elections by May, no electoral law has as yet been published. Moreover, Groza declared recently to a prominent National Peasant that he has every intention of holding on to his position.
The historic parties’ leaders state political violence is increasing. The large Peasant and Liberal meetings are impeded but not prohibited while NDF bands disrupt their small meetings and wreck meeting premises. No traditional party clubs taken over by the Government have been returned although the AC while it was here was led to understand that the clubs would be made available. Lawsuits against Peasants and Liberals charged as responsible by the Government for the November 8, 1945 demonstrations are continuing despite Groza’s promise to the Ambassadors to dismiss them. Opposition Party literature distribution is being opposed by NDF seizures and not by Government requisition of party automobiles used for this purpose. The historic parties still have no access to their radio.
Peasant and Liberal newspapers are subjected to what party leaders consider unreasonable Rumanian Government pressure and their newspaper allocations are arbitrarily cut. Dreptatea, the National Peasant paper, according to Mr. Maniu receives 2 newsprint rolls daily while one of the Communist papers Scanteia receives 20. Mr. [Page 583] Maniu further has pointed out that a year ago his party had 20 newspapers in Transylvania alone whereas today it has only 3 for the entire country.
Mr. Maniu repeated to me his views expressed to the American and British Ambassadors while here that the Moscow decisions were a great personal disappointment but that he had accepted them because he understood that the American and British Governments would exert pressure upon the Groza government to make good its commitments. He further expressed his belief that the Government’s post-Moscow tactics had been adopted with the complete approval of the Soviet authorities.
Looking at the reverse of the medal, we must admit that the Groza government did accept representatives of the two historic parties, that these representatives participate in at least some Cabinet discussions, that the Groza government has authorized the publication of a party organ in the capital and another in the provinces for each party; that up until now these newspapers have printed on local matters exactly what they pleased, often to the very considerable embarrassment of the Government and that political meetings are being held.
After weighing all available information at my disposal from the NDF and historic parties upon the application by the Groza Government of promised or tacitly agreed popular freedoms during the stay of the Allied Commission, my considered opinion is that the general complaints of the political opposition are justified and that the time is opportune for the Department to consider the procedure outlined in its telegram 50 of January 24, 3 p.m.53
This is 297 repeated London 58 and Moscow 57.
- None printed.↩
- Not printed; it directed Mr. Berry to report on those instances of violation of the conditions set forth in the American note of February 5 to the Rumanian Government. Such instances, if substantiated, were then to be brought to the attention of the British and Soviet Governments, and, with or without similar action on the part of those Governments, made the subject of a protest to the Rumanian Government. (871.00/1–2446)↩