811.91271/5–2446: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith)

us urgent

962. Please make strong representations urgently requesting Soviet Govt immediately to rescind order of Red Army Command in Rumania expelling Reuben Markham (Bucharest’s tel 81 May 2273) from country and to restore his privileges and rights as correspondent. Order is clear violation Potsdam Communiqué which envisaged enjoyment by Allied press of full freedom to report developments in Rumania. This Govt cannot accept the position that the activities of a correspondent in an effort to obtain accurate information from all sources in the normal pursuit of his calling constitutes “meddling in Rumanian party politics”. However, quite apart from the question of foundation of this charge which Markham categorically denies, you should emphasize that freedom to report is matter of principle to which this Govt firmly adheres.74

[Page 594]

[On May 27, 1946, the United States Representative in Rumania delivered to the Rumanian Foreign Minister a note protesting the failure of the Rumanian Government to comply with the Moscow Conference decisions on Rumania and to fulfill the commitments made to the Tripartite Rumanian Commission. A similar note was delivered by the British Political Representative in Rumania. A copy of the American note was also made available to the Soviet Foreign Ministry. For text of Representative Berry’s note, which was released to the press on June 1, 1946, see Department of State Bulletin, June 9, 1946, page 1007.]

  1. Telegram 513, May 22, from Bucharest, repeated to Moscow as 81, transmitted the text of a statement by Markham refuting charges made against him by the Red Army Command in Rumania. Mr. Berry added the following comment: “I know of no serious inaccuracy in Markham’s above statement and analysis. He has gotten around the country as no other reporter and has written courageously of what he saw. Of course, the Russians and Rumanian Government resent this. His expulsion is part of program of preparation for elections which the government desires to hold while Red Army is still in Rumania and without the assistance of any official or unofficial observers from the US or Great Britain. For this very reason I think we should vigorously contest expulsion.” (811.91271/5–2246)
  2. Telegram 1650, May 25, from Moscow, reported that a strong protest relative to Markham’s expulsion had been made in a letter from Ambassador Smith to Foreign Minister Molotov on May 25 (811.91271/5–2546). Telegram 1962, June 21, from Moscow, transmitted the text of the Soviet Foreign Ministry note of June 19 rejecting the American protest and supporting the demand of the Soviet authorities in Rumania that Markham be expelled (811.91271/6–2246).