874.00/1–447: Telegram

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


6. I had hour and half talk with Kimon Georgiev this a.m. First conversation with him since he became Foreign Minister2—in fact first real discussion since I saw him to present Secretary’s letter (see mytel 798, October 23). Explained failure to seek him out earlier by fact that I had so many times stated US point of view to him on Bulgarian issue without great effect that there had seemed no point since elections in rehashing old subjects. He was most anxious to have my estimate of probable development US-Bulgarian relations near future. Told him I had had no news whatever from Washington since formation new government but that if he wished my own personal estimate, for what it might be worth, it was:

Elections had given opposition voice in GNA. On assumption government prepared to forego totalitarian methods at least to extent of permitting opposition to continue in Parliament and to have press then.
I envisaged signature of treaty by US on February 10.4
Early presentation of treaty Senate for ratification and
Recognition of government in interim pending ratification of by fact itself of ratification and deposit of instrument thereof [sic]. I said I personally rather thought Secretary would prefer recognition to flow from Senate’s act of ratification than from any specific earlier decision on act by himself, in former event burden on him to deal with what Senate might find unsatisfactory in state of affairs obtaining in Bulgaria would be the lighter.

Georgiev fully understood my remarks in relation to Secretary’s September conversation with him in Paris.5 I told FonMin that it was my personal view that relatively satisfactory results of election, despite fraud and restraint involved, made it possible for us now to concentrate on elimination of ACC as wall between US and Bulgarian Governments, free Bulgaria from occupying military force, to seek conditions that would permit US Govt directly to influence Bulgarian Govt in way of truly democratic methods and real economic and social rehabilitation, and that what important misgivings remained from past are those emphasized by government inspired recent campaign to throw opposition out of GNA and decision “forever to suppress” newspaper Zname6 (see mytels 988 and 989 December 27).

Georgiev replied he could only hope my estimate or something better in terms of time table was realizable, that he could assure me no “strong arm” methods would be used against opposition despite hue and cry, and that government is most anxious to reestablishment of normal relations as all members of Cabinet realize economic rehabilitation of country absolutely impossible without materials from US particularly machine tools, road building, mining and railway equipment and motor trucks. In this latter connection he spoke at length of government plans for electrification, irrigation, completion of road and railway systems and moderate industrialization.

At this point, I took up two specific subjects that had caused me to seek interview, namely, (1) possible fabricated charge in connection with alleged conspiracy against regime and favor of support for western democracies in any eventual war between them and Soviets by so-called neutral officers (see mytel 959, December 128), of irregular activities by US and UK official personnel in Bulgaria, and (2) press [Page 138] insults to US. These subjects dealt with my immediately following telegrams 7 and 8.9

Sent Department; repeated Moscow as 1 and London as 1.

  1. Kimon Georgiev, Chairman of the Bulgarian political party People’s Union Zveno; Bulgarian Prime Minister from September 9, 1944 to November 21, 1946. Following the Bulgarian national elections of October 27, 1946, a new Bulgarian Cabinet was formed by Prime Minister Georgi Dimitrov, Secretary General of the Bulgarian Communist Party. In that Cabinet, Georgiev was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs (from November 23, 1946).
  2. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 150.
  3. The Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria was signed in Paris on February 10; treaty ratification was desposited in Moscow on September 15, at which time the treaty went into effect. For documentation on the signing, ratification, and deposit of ratification of the treaties of peace with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania, see volume iii .
  4. The reference here is presumably to the conversation in Paris on August 27, 1946, between the Secretary of State and the then Prime Minister Georgiev; for the record of that conversation, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 136.
  5. Zname, which was closed down by the Bulgarian Government in October 1946, was the newspaper of the Democratic Party, one of the opposition parties to the Communist-dominated government.
  6. Neither printed.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Telegram 7, January 4, from Sofia, is printed infra. Telegram 8, January 4, from Sofia, not printed; in it, Representative Barnes reported that he had brought to the attention of Foreign Minister Georgiev the fact that many articles and cartoons insulting the United States and the United Kingdom had appeared in government-supported newspapers. The telegram concluded:

    “I asked him to explain, in connection with question of recognition of Bulgarian Govt by US, insults and discrepancies established by facts I laid before him. He admitted situation reprehensible and that something drastic should be done to bring conditions into line with govt’s protestation of friendship and fairness.” (741.74/1–447)