874.00/11–1947: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria (Heath) to the Secretary of State


1068. Militia pressure on present Bulgarian employees of US and British Legations as well as former employees of US and UK ACC delegations, which has existed for many months, seems to have increased somewhat in recent weeks. Particularly servants and other minor employees have been called to militia headquarters where have been instructed report regularly on activities of their employers. They have been told by militia that their associations with Anglo-Americans render them “politically undesirable”.

On November 15 chief translator British Legation called to militia headquarters: he has not been heard of since despite inquiries instituted by British. This translator had openly and knowingly risked punitive militia action by attending Petkov trial and making available to both Legations only complete and reliable first-hand report.

On November 12 female Bulgarian clerk this Legation, former teacher American college, was summoned to militia headquarters and informed that her Sofia citizenship had been revoked. No reason given for this action which calls for departure from Sofia within 10 days.

Another recent case involving US was calling to militia headquarters of Bulgarian ex-stenographer of US element ACC. This young woman told that unless she signed false accusations against a fellow Bulgarian employee connecting him with espionage activities she would be sent to work with group of ex-prostitutes in forced labor camp.

It seems quite clear these steps which should be read in conjunction other efforts embarrass British and ourselves form part of “cold war” against western democracies. While not only instance designed cause US difficulties, they strike at vital points since our failure for inability protect our Bulgarian employees obviously will make it well nigh impossible retain translators and others upon whom we are dependent.

In conversation with Foreign Minister November 151 I directed his attention to banishment from Sofia of four consular employees. I took line that this must have been mistake on part of militia which I expected to be rectified promptly. I learn that today Foreign Minister has sent letter to militia asking it to revoke order in this case. Whether or not there are any positive results, I intend discuss with acting Prime Minister Rostov in next few days, general problem of militia action against our Bulgarian employees. I will refer to oft-repeated [Page 189] pledges of several Bulgarian Foreign Ministers that no punitive steps would be taken without our being informed in writing by Foreign Office and (reDeptel 443, October 17) I will reiterate what I told Foreign Minister November 15 namely that US is not and has not engaged in subversive activities in Bulgaria.

  1. See telegram 1057, November 16, from Sofia, supra.