874.00/8–2347: Telegram

Mr. Robert Rossow, Jr., of the Mission in Bulgaria to the Secretary of State

urgent   niact

724. From Rossow. I saw Soviet Minister Kirsanov noon today and said I regretted not having been able accompany British political representative (Mistel 717 August 231) at interview last night. I said it was not necessary go into great detail since Sterndale-Bennett had covered same ground night before but wanted to state we did not feel Petkov case to be purely internal matter in view Bulgaria’s status with respect Yalta and armistice agreements and morally with respect peace treaty. I said we had reason feel trial was in no sense democratic and that American public opinion had been revolted at scandalous conduct and campaign of intimidation simultaneously carried on. I said furthermore that we could not ignore repeated charges foreign interference made during trial. We felt, I said, that only reasonable course for Bulgarian Govt was completely annul proceedings but that meanwhile we felt it necessary and urgent approach Bulgarian Govt on informal basis with view urging them to withhold execution of sentence. I wanted join suit political representative extending Soviet Minister invitation take parallel action immediately vis-à-vis Bulgarian Govt.

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He said he was interested hear my views and would communicate them to his government.

I asked in view of urgency of matter if he would take immediate informal action without awaiting instructions from his government. He replied he could add nothing to what he had already said.

I asked for information purposes only if he had any ideas as to reason for calling Assembly session tomorrow (Mistel 723 August 232). He said he had no official information on this but that unofficially he understood it was in connection with ratification of peace treaty.

I concluded referring to my difficulties3 arranging this interview that it would be advisable if three Missions could arrange for informal consultations without too much difficulty. He replied only that he had not been at his Legation yesterday afternoon.

Sent Dept as 724, repeated Moscow as 59 and London as 67.

  1. Not printed; it reported on British Representative Sterndale Bennett’s conversation with Soviet Minister Kirsanov on the previous evening. Sterndale Bennett described the more flagrant external evidences of injustice in the Petkov trial and stated that it was the opinion of the British Government that the Bulgarian Government should completely annul the proceedings. Sterndale Bennett said that the British and the United States Governments were making overtures to the Bulgarian Government to stop the carrying out of Petkov’s death sentence and urged Kirsanov to take parallel action. (874.00/8–2447)
  2. Not printed.
  3. In telegram 716, August 22, from Sofia, not printed, Rossow reported that Soviet Minister Kirsanov had refused to receive Sterndale Bennett and Rossow simultaneously (874.00/8–2247).