The Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: In connection with Don Russell’s attached memorandum75 I should like to ask that you reconsider the suggestion to call Barnes back from Sofia for consultation at this time. I agree that at some future date it would be useful both to the Department and for Barnes to have him brought back. I think his departure from his post just now would be subject to serious misinterpretation.

As you have read, the Bulgarian Government has just resigned76 and a new one which may or may not be an improvement on the last is in process of formation. We will want Barnes’ interpretation of future developments. In the second place, in view of the public spanking which the Soviet note gave him, it would look to everyone in Bulgaria and probably in this country too as though we were bringing Barnes back because of Soviet criticism. Also, intelligence reports [Page 87] indicate recent Soviet troop movements and increases into Bulgaria and with these developments coupled with efforts to build up air fields and other bases in Albania, I think it is a poor time to call back our representative in Sofia.

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. The memorandum under reference, dated March 22, from Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Donald Russell to Matthews, reads as follows: “The Secretary has instructed that Mr. Maynard Barnes be recalled for consultation. Will you take the necessary action.” (874.00/3–1346)
  2. On the evening of March 20, 1946, Prime Minister Georgiev announced the resignation of his government. Barnes expressed the view in his telegram 258, March 21, from Sofia, that the resignation was more likely made to effect some internal shuffle of posts rather than as an honest effort to reach a compromise with the Opposition leaders (874.00/3–2146).