740.00119 Council/3–1946: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Representative in Rumania (Berry)59


315. There follows summary Dunn’s60 Delsec 292, Mar 1961 re [Page 587] Transylvanian frontier problem (sent Bucharest and Budapest re Bucharest’s 271, Mar 6, rptd Budapest as 5, and Budapest’s 486, Mar 9,62 rptd Bucharest as 19):

Our proposal last Sept was that Rumanian Hungarian frontier shall be generally that of 1938 but ethnic situation of Transylvania shall be examined to determine whether by awarding small section to Hungary number of persons under alien rule would be substantially reduced.63 British and French supported this general approach then but British now seem less enthusiastic.

No available substantiation of reports from Budapest that Russians may be disposed to revision. Gusev flatly stated Mar 11 Soviet Govt believed all Transylvania should go to Rumania.64 Soviet position appears fixed.

Case for rectification of boundary not sufficiently clear to warrant making a major issue of it. Available statistics indicate that no revision apart from exchange of population would return to Hungary significant number of Hungarians without transferring to Hungarian rule large number of Rumanians. Unlikely that reduction of those under alien rule would be as much as 100,000. This would represent no solution minority problem. Transylvanian question cannot be solved by trimming frontier.

Although some satisfaction of well-founded Hungarian claims would benefit democratic Hungarian forces psychologically, it is doubtful that small rectification would contribute much to political stability in this region. Even if we willing to incur Rumanian resentment, our sponsorship rectification could hardly satisfy Hungarians. Also a minor change might aggravate situation of remaining Hungarians in Rumania.

Therefore it may not be desirable politically to attempt by means of present treaties alteration these boundaries. But we would want to oppose provisions which preclude later adjustment by other means.

If in general discussion this question Russians evince complete disinclination to study on its merits any proposal for revision, it might be well seek solution along lines of following amended text Article VII Soviet draft Rumanian treaty. “The decisions of the Vienna [Page 588] award of Aug 30, 194065 are declared null and void without prejudice however to direct negotiations between the Govts of Rumania and Hungary looking toward an adjustment of the frontier which would substantially reduce the number of persons living under alien rule.”

For reasons stated above Dept has agreed Dunn’s position and approved his proposed amended text.

  1. Also sent to Budapest as telegram 352.
  2. Assistant Secretary of State James C. Dunn was serving as Deputy United States Representative at the Council of Foreign Ministers at London. Dunn and the Deputies of the British, Soviet, and French Foreign Ministers were meeting in London to consider the draft peace treaties for Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Ante, p. 272.
  5. At the London meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, September 11–October 2, 1945, the United States proposals regarding a treaty of peace with Rumania were contained in document C.F.M. (45) 36, September 19, 1945, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, p. 266.
  6. Fedor Tarasovich Gusev, the Soviet Ambassador in the United Kingdom, was serving as Deputy to Foreign Minister Molotov at the Council of Foreign Ministers. His statement was made in the course of a meeting of the Deputies in London.
  7. For documentation on the arbitral award by an Italian-German Commission regarding the cession of Transylvanian territories by Rumania to Hungary, made at Vienna, August 30, 1940, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. i, pp. 501503, and Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. x, pp. 581–584.