874.00/4–146: Telegram

The Representative in Bulgaria (Barnes) to the Secretary of State


288. Mytel 287, March 31.87 There can be no doubt that outcome of Cabinet crisis has been extension of Communist control over Government. Appointment of Communist Vice Prime Minister88 affords party and its leader Georgi Dimitrov means of direct and constant pressure on leadership of Council of Ministers with respect to deliberations of Council, administrative activity of Secretariat thereof, and the broad general political influence exercised by Office of Prime Minister. Project for Assistant Ministers has merely been postponed not rejected. Party has retained unrestricted control of Minister of Interior89 and of militia. It has not lost real control of Ministry of Justice as new Minister,90 an Obbov agrarian, appears disposed to accept [Page 97] Communist domination in any conflict between old line agrarian thought and Communist views. At same time he takes over Ministry already staffed by Communists working with courts to which Communist judges and prosecutors have already been appointed. By recent law judges now seated are removable only for malfeasance. At same time Communists have gained vital Ministry of Finance.91 Zveno, Director of National Bank, will, of course, be subservient to Communist Minister of Finance. Vital and strategic Ministry of Railways, Posts, Telephones and Telegraph remains in fact in hands of Communists through its director Major General Markov. Kulishev, new Minister of Foreign Affairs, so compromised [by] activities as Protogerov92 Macedonian revolutionary political representative and advocate during early part of war of German penetration into Balkans as to have little or no independence left.

Government press has lost no time in intensifying campaign of denunciation and vilification of opposition for refusing to accept Russian and Government interpretation of Moscow decision. Crisis appears to have strengthened opposition in its conviction that time is serving interests of political liberty in Bulgaria and that Government reshuffle is only one of several that will occur in the inevitable march of events toward new elections and formation of government sufficiently representative to be recognized by western democracies.

Sent Department as 288; repeated Moscow as 137 and London as 120.

  1. Traicho Kostov: also Minister of Electrification and Natural Resources.
  2. Traicho Kostov; also Minister of Electrification and Natural Resources.
  3. Communist leader Anton Yugov remained as Minister of Interior.
  4. Lubomir Kolarov.
  5. Ivan Stafanov was the new Minister of Finance.
  6. One branch of the pre-war Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO).