740.00119 EW/1–1047: Telegram

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

secret   urgent

23. Acting British political representative2 has been requested by Foreign Office to report his views as to modalities for giving effect to Article 33 draft peace treaty with Bulgaria. He has had only text as it appeared in Paris Conference draft, and two counter drafts of Article 34 to work on.3

It is my understanding his recommendations envisage rules of procedure that would formalize substance of Articles 33 and 34 into something in nature of civilian ACC, with chairmanship rotating among three members for specified periods. I am strongly of the opinion that he is on wrong track, and that any agreement between three signatories on procedural matters could only operate to disadvantage of US and UK.

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I am too impressed by impotency of US and UK representation on ACC under armistice terms4 ever to believe Russians would look upon procedural agreement with respect to Article 33 except as means to circumvent purposes of US and UK. I believe application Article 33 matter to be worked out on spot between three representatives, and that at most, only such general principles as follow might be agreed to in advance on governmental level:

Request of any one of three representatives for meeting should be respected by other two.
If chairman considered necessary at meetings, then chairmanship should rotate meeting by meeting. Frankly, I can see no valid reason why three representatives so-called friendly powers should have to resort to formality of chairmanship.
If chairmanship decided upon, then each presiding representative in turn responsible for preparation of minutes in language of representative, and minutes to be subject to correction before inscribed in records.
Decisions to be by majority vote, minority member having right to file written dissenting opinion.
No preclusive agenda, but obligation on part of convoking member, to state reason for requesting meeting.

My experience to date with Russians has convinced me they seek formality and procedural agreements primarily as instrument of offensive or defensive diplomatic action, depending upon needs of moment. If basis of Article 33 is principle, that execution of peace treaty will be supervised through friendly cooperation between three great Allies, then I think it would be pity and harmful to ultimate outcome if efforts were made in advance to formalize and encase in “strait-jacket” nature of this cooperation. We already have ample evidence in experience to date our representatives on ACC Bulgaria, of manner in which Russia relies on prior procedural agreements to circumvent spirit and letter of obligation to cooperate and be friendly.

Sent Dept; repeated London as 6, Moscow 7.

  1. Richard Bartram Boyd Tollinton.
  2. For the text of Draft Peace Treaty with Bulgaria as presented to the Paris Peace Conference by the Council of Foreign Ministers, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. iv, pp. 95101. Following consideration and revision of the Draft Treaty by the Paris Peace Conference (July 29–October 15, 1946 and the Third Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers at New York (November 4–December 12, 1946), the articles under reference (33 and 34) were included in the final approved text of the Peace Treaty with Bulgaria as articles 35 and 36 respectively. For the text of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty as signed in Paris on February 10, 1947, see TIAS No. 1650. Identical articles were included in the Treaties of Peace with Rumania (articles 36 and 37) and with Hungary (articles 39 and 40), which were also signed at Paris on February 10, 1947. For the texts of these other treaties, see TIAS Nos. 1649 and 1651. The documentation on the Paris Peace Conference and the New York session of the Council of Foreign Ministers comprise Foreign Relations, 1946, volumes ii , iii , and iv .
  3. The reference here is to the Armistice Agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union and Bulgaria, October 28, 1944. For documentation on the participation by the United States in the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, pp. 135 ff. and 1946, vol. vi, pp. 46 ff.