870.00/0–2447: Telegram

The Acting Representative in Bulgaria (Horner) to the Secretary of State

secret   urgent

472. During period of armistice now ending pattern of political events has been remarkably similar in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary three former German satellite states. Recent Communist coup in Hungary1 now given that country regime closely resembling those in Bulgaria and Rumania, namely one characterized by sham coalition government with Communists pulling the strings.

No particular insight required to predict that problems to be faced by US representatives in Sofia, Bucharest and Budapest in attempting enforce peace treaties will be largely identical. Nor would it be surprising if despite superficial differences tactics of three ex-satellites are not also of pattern. Each of these governments no doubt will make consistent efforts evade any of more onerous obligations devolving upon them under treaties.

Reviewing history of ACC in Bulgaria (and probably same can be said for ACCs in Hungary and Rumania) it seems clear that US representatives have been severely handicapped by lack of clear-cut guidance on major matters of policy. Thus these representatives have been constantly confronted with faits accomplis on part their Soviet colleagues and being always on defensive were forced pursue policy of improvisation.

One way to avoid some of pitfalls now evident from ACC experience would be to call conference to US ACC representatives in Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria and Foreign Service personnel who will be concerned with treaty enforcement. General Robertson,2 whose idea this is, suggests that with three ACC representatives should meet ministers-designate to three countries, present acting foreign representatives and high policy-making official of Department such as assistant secretary in charge European affairs or director of office of European affairs.

During discussion of several days it should be possible exchange views on common problems in realm of treaty enforcement. More important, it would afford opportunity for presenting to Department questions on which guidance and policy decisions will be urgently required. As indicated above beginning phases under peace treaties will be of transcendent importance and in consequence instructions of [Page 15] Department on basic problems likely to be encountered may be considered essential if we are to make any pretense of enforcing these treaties.

As seen from this post main subjects which might advantageously be discussed at such conference would be:

Guarantees of human rights and freedoms as enumerated in Article II of treaty with Bulgaria. As mission has reported FF regime in Bulgaria by consecutively suppressing opposition press, arraigning leader of opposition Agrarians on subversive charges, expelling 23 outstanding opposition deputies from Sobranje and finally extensive and continued police measures against all not sympathetic to Communist ideology already has manifested its clear intention of flouting this essential provision of treaty. Consequently we are faced with decision as to our course of action upon entry into effect of treaty and such decision cannot be long delayed.3
Matter of carrying out military clauses of treaty is currently being discussed with British locally and will be made subject of separate telegram. It may confidently be anticipated that Bulgarians aided and abetted by Soviets will make every effort prevent these provisions from being implemented. Such obstruction may take form of refusal permit US and UK officers travel freely throughout country, supply to us of misleading or fabricated data and an over-generous interpretation of clauses which seem all too well to lend themselves to different interpretations.
Economic clauses of treaty also present multitude of problems. Despite assiduous efforts during space of more than 2 years US representatives on ACC Bulgaria has made little progress in bringing about restoration of US economic interests here. Here again there is little ground for anticipating sudden reversal of form.

In view all these things believe General Robertson’s suggestion merits early and favorable consideration. If Dept concurs suggest that meeting be held in Vienna in early July.

Sent Department as 472; repeated Bucharest as 23; and Budapest as 15.

  1. For documentation regarding the dissolution of the Nagy Government in Hungary, see pp. 260 ff.
  2. Maj. Gen. William M. Robertson, Chief of the United States Representation on the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria.
  3. For documentation regarding the efforts of the United States to establish and preserve democratic institutions in Bulgaria, see pp. 136 ff.