874.00/2–246: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Counselor of the Department of State ( Cohen ), at London


1210. For Cohen. Urtel 1299, Feb. 2. I agree with your suggestion that approach to Vyshinski be postponed until Bevin has an opportunity to confer with Houstoun-Boswall.

We appreciate the possibility that any initiative by us at this time might be interpreted by the Soviet Government as an indication of our willingness to accept a pro forma solution in order to dispose of the question. However, we have had the definite impression from recent reports that the situation is deteriorating in Bulgaria, a condition apparently confirmed by Foreign Minister Stainov as reported in Sofia’s tel. 113, Feb. 2.51 We have felt that if matters are allowed to drift it will be even more difficult at a later date to achieve a satisfactory basis for recognition than it is now. As regards the British view that new elections would not differ in method or in result from those held last November, it seems to us that some progress has been made toward the achievement of freedom of expression for the opposition since that date and that, if elections under some sort of guarantee could be held before any marked retrogression in that respect takes place, such elections would go as far toward the implementation of Yalta as does the Moscow Agreement.

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In the event Bevin is not prepared after consultation with Houstoun-Boswall to take matter up with Vyshinski, your suggestion that we inform Vyshinski of our position along lines you indicate and ask him what steps, if any, he would propose in circumstances may well be best course. I would like to consider this suggestion further in light of any comments Brit, may have to make at that time.52

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram 1416, February 12, 1946, to Cohen in London, the Secretary approved Cohen’s suggestion of informing Vyshinsky of the U.S. position along the lines set forth in London’s telegram 1299, February 2, p. 66. The Secretary also suggested to Cohen that he “might also add that we too regard the failure of the Bulgarian Government to take steps in the matter of reparations to Greece as a non-fulfillment of the armistice conditions.” (874.00/2–946)