The Chief of the United States Representation to the Allied Control Commission in Rumania (Schuyler) to the War Department
[Received May 31, 1946.]
T–1352 (Cm–in 6491). The recent upsurge in the Government’s campaign of political arrests has involved two Rumanian civilian employees of this Mission. Circumstances are as follows:
First case: Alexandra Stanescu, fully trusted and carefully screened employee who has been with us for over one year and a half, was arrested at 2230 hours, 26 May by four men who, without identifying themselves, leaped upon him as he was walking home, manacled him, threw him into a car and drove away. He has not been heard of since, and inquiries and protests to various Government agencies by my representatives and those of Mr. Berry have as yet produced no results.
Second case: Teodor Manicatide, a fully trusted employee of long standing, was visited at his home by representatives of the Sogurazza on 26 May but managed to inform this Mission in time for an officer to arrive and bring Manicatide to this headquarters. Two of my officers with interpreters then at once conducted Manicatide to the office of the Rumanian presidential Council of Ministers. My officers informed the Rumanians on duty that they understood Manicatide was wanted for questioning, and offered to have him questioned in their presence. This was not accepted, demand being made that Manicatide be given up to be arrested and jailed. My officers refused and after further altercation during which six or seven Siguranz agents attempted to restrain, them by a show of force, Manicatide was brought to this Headquarters. I am now holding him in custody.
I am informed by Mr. Berry that one of his Rumanian female employees75 has also been arrested and jailed.[Page 595]
Neither of my two employees arrested has engaged in any political activities to my knowledge, either before or during the period of their employment with this representation. They have both, however, been useful to me in furnishing political and military information, obtained from their friends and acquaintances. I am taking the matter up at once with General Susaikov, although by my Russian Liaison officer, I have already been advised not to interfere in these arrests. I have rejected such advice as unacceptable. Unless otherwise directed by you, I propose to maintain that so long as Rumania is operating under an ACC, the employees of such ACC can not be summarily arrested and questioned by the Rumanian Government unless ACC officials are present during the questioning. Such employees all have a certain amount of knowledge of ACC activities which are not proper matters for investigation by the Rumanian Government. I shall point out that further that if any employees are suspected of improper activities, I Should be advised of same fact, and in event such case I will after investigation either discharge the employee or if consider the charges do not warrant discharge, I shall make the employee available for questioning in the presence of my officer. I propose to take no steps which may impede the course of Rumanian justice, but I shall not permit the Rumanian Government to inquire into the affairs of this representation unless my representative is present at the inquiry. I propose to maintain this position regardless of whether or not Susaikov agrees. I have already moved my key Rumanians into the hotel occupied by my enlisted men and shall prevent their arrest by the Rumanian authorities, except on my terms, using force if necessary.76 All my Rumanian employees are now justifiably perturbed lest they, in turn, become subject to arrest, beatings or even deportation, solely as a result of their association with this representation. It is obvious that unless I take forthright action now, American prestige in Rumania will reach a new low.
It is inconceivable to me that we should permit the Rumanian “Government, about to receive our official recognition while still under an armistice, to indulge in a terroristic campaign against American interests. I have discussed this question with Mr. Berry, who concurs in my proposed course of action pending receipt of instructions from higher authority.
Your confirmation or comment concerning my stand on this matter is urgently requested. I shall report at once the result of the interview with General Susaikov.
- Elvira Olteanu.↩
- Telegram 402, June 18, to Bucharest, stated that “in view realities of situation, Dept feels that in face of determined action by authorities Schuyler should confine his resistance to passive opposition (short of armed conflict) necessary to compel such authorities to force entry and seize employees under protest.” (871.00/0–1846).↩