740.00119 Control (Bulgaria)/6–446: Telegram

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

top secret

405. Generals Robertson5 and Oxley were separately convoked yesterday by General Cherepanov6 who told each that their officers had recently shown undue inquisitiveness about Russian military establishments in Bulgaria and that an analysis by him of trips taken by American and British officers in vicinity of Plovdiv “an important Russian military concentration point” had led him to believe that passage of so many British and American officers through that area could not be dismissed merely as coincidence. General Robertson refuted implication and explained that numerous American officers have recently [Page 104] passed through Plovdiv on way to Varna to make arrangements at Black Sea resort for summer quarters. He has since warned his staff to avoid giving impression of any undue inquisitiveness. Deptel 154 of May 177 has been brought to attention of all American military personnel. General Oxley manifested anger at Cherepanov’s imputation and stated that his officers had right to travel in Bulgaria where he wished to send them.

There may perhaps be some connection between foregoing and fact that on June 1, Bulgarian Army officer assigned by Bulgarian Minister of War as motor transport officer to US Military Delegation was seized by Bulgarian militia without any forewarning or explanation to General Robertson. We understand that militia charges that this office shortly after September 9, 1944 harbored “anti-FF officers” of Bulgarian Army. General Robertson has made strong oral protest to Minister of War on grounds that normal courtesy toward US Military Delegation would impose advance notice and informal discussions in such cases. As officer is member of Bulgarian military forces demand for his release does not seem feasible.

Repeat to Moscow as 172. Sent Dept as 405.

  1. Maj. Gen. William M. Robertson, Commander of the United States delegation to the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria from March 1946.
  2. On May 4, 1946, Lieutenant General Cherepanov succeeded Colonel General Biryuzov as Deputy President (Soviet) of the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria.
  3. Not printed.