740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/2–446: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan)


295. Sofia’s tel. 117, Feb. 4. In view of report by Gen. Crane and indications in similar vein from other sources, we feel representations should be made to Soviet authorities in regard to execution of Potsdam Agreement on ACC procedure with particular reference to current treatment of US Delegation ACC Bulgaria. Consequently, unless you perceive objection, please transmit to Fonoff note along following lines:56

“The Soviet Government is, of course, fully aware of the difficulties encountered in the operation of the Allied Control Commissions in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary during the period preceding the cessation of hostilities and the agreements reached at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin which were intended to establish a workable procedure for the continued discharge of the Allied responsibilities of those bodies in the second period beginning with the end of hostilities. It is regretted that the provisions of that revised procedure, which envisaged the effective participation of the US Delegation on the ACC Bulgaria in the work of that Commission have not received practical implementation in the day to day conduct of the affairs of the ACC Bulgaria as contemplated at Berlin.

The US Delegate has not been consulted on principal questions handled by the ACC, with the exception of the matter of the postponement of the elections originally scheduled for August 26, 1945. Moreover, despite occasional meetings held by the ACC and with the exception just noted, the US Delegate has not even been informed of major decisions and on frequent occasions information requested as to the activities of the Bulgarian Government under armistice control has not been forthcoming. The US Delegation has thus in fact been circumvented in its efforts to participate effectively in the work of the ACC. Nevertheless, decisions of the ACC have constantly been communicated to the Bulgarian Government and in some instances announced publicly as Allied determinations without the US Delegate having had knowledge of their formulation.

In addition, the rights and privileges of the US Delegation foreseen in the Berlin agreements and implicit in the cordial relationship, the existence of which the U.S. Gov’t. would like to see made the cornerstone of cooperative endeavor toward Allied objectives, have been abridged by arbitrary action of the Soviet representation on the Commission. [Page 75] It has been particularly noted that unduly cumbersome procedures instituted with regard to the clearance of aircraft into Bulgaria operate to restrict the free entry and exit of US planes for the U.S. Delegation. Such planes constitute the only means of transportation between the US Delegation and the Government it represents. Furthermore, supplies brought in by air by the US Delegation for its own use have been made subject to inspection by Soviet officials upon arrival despite the fact that manifests describing the cargoes have been submitted in advance. As regards freedom of movement within Bulgaria, members of the US Delegation have had not only to notify the Soviet authorities of their proposed itineraries as provided in the agreement at Berlin but also to make application for permission to undertake travel within the country and to await approval of such application before departure, a clear extension of the arrangement agreed upon and a derogation of that arrangement.

It is the opinion of the US Government that this situation, which also exists to a greater or less degree in Rumania and Hungary, is in direct violation of the specific agreements of the US and Soviet Governments as set forth above with regard to the present basis for operation of the ACCs in the ex-satellite countries. It is further believed that the unwillingness of the Soviet authorities in Bulgaria to abide by those agreements, indicated by their failure wholeheartedly to foster effective participation of the US Delegation in the work of the Allied Control Commission there and by their imposition of restrictions on the personal and official activities of the US Delegation, is not conducive to the full development of the cordial relationships which the US Government on its part desires to see maintained at all points of contact with the Soviet Government. The US Government expects that the Soviet Government will take prompt measures to insure future compliance with the agreements it has undertaken in this regard and will instruct its representatives on the ACCs accordingly without delay.[”]

Sent to Moscow, repeated to London, Sofia, Bucharest and Budapest.

  1. Telegram 524, February 23, 1946, from Moscow, reported that a note had been transmitted to Molotov on February 21, setting forth the American representations. Kennan added in this telegram that he assumed that the Department agreed that such representations were unlikely alone to produce satisfactory changes in the procedures of the Allied Control Commissions and served only to place the American position on record with a view to taking further and more tangible steps in case the Soviet Government persisted in failing to execute the provisions of the Berlin Agreement. (740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/2–2346)