740.0011 EW(Peace)/9–2047: Telegram

The Acting Representative in Rumania ( Melbourne ) to the Secretary of State


851. In past 10 days Leverich1 and myself have had series of conversations with qualified observers of every political complexion to learn their views upon future possibilities for Rumania through implementation of peace treaty. In general there are two broadly differing positions represented by govt and public. Govt plan is de-emphasis of treaty in order not to hearten country to expect relief from over-all Soviet directed pressure. Conspicuously championed by Communists, this view would ignore treaty to limit that western powers permit or can be bullied into accepting. In contrast is opinion held by great bulk of nation. Namely, that treaty execution must be given publicity and start with article 3 granting popular liberties.

Apologist for govt position is Foreign Minister Tatarescu with whom I had interview after he had spent week-end with Soviet Ambassador Kavtaradze discussing treaty procedures. Tatarescu claimed Rumania’s interests require that it remain absolutely quiet and respond to cue of Soviets, while he also sought to paint future of peace treaty application as not unsatisfactory to western interests. However, he made refreshingly frank admission that if their colleagues deviate from Soviet policy there would be “strong likelihood they would find themselves in Lake Baikal region of Russia”.

All sources, except Communist mouthpieces, pointed out necessity of giving fullest publicity to first formal meeting under treaty of three chiefs of mission and to resultant communiqué. Each also emphasized complete injustice of existing regime’s suppression of popular freedoms and counselled public’s hope was that treaty commission by second meeting could begin in modest way to seek removal of such restrictions as censorship and grant press freedom as indispensable step towards execution of all-important article 3.

Almost every observer expressed opinion treaty executors had right to inquire into mass opposition arrests, like that of Maniu group,2 as flagrant violations of article 3. Regularly informants declared because of great moral question involved in projected Maniu trial Americans and British should take definite stand under treaty procedure permitting question to be carried to UN.

Common reaction despite buffeting populace has received from Communists is that treaty has certain possibilities to foster democratic [Page 32] political and moral climate in Rumania. Despite pessimism of royal advisers (see Mistel 841, September 173) public considers it won victory by still retaining King when treaty came into effect. It likewise believes Americans with judicious use of supports available in treaty can have restraining influence upon Communist-bent course and keep alive vital spark of national morale. Several informants asserted Russians by actions have shown certain fear of peace treaties by delaying ratifications until last possible moment and locally by trying to organize program of fait accompli legislation before treaty is implemented. Hope today is life of Rumanian nation and informants believe American participation in treaty can be guided to nurture that hope into growing substance of reality.

  1. Henry P. Leverich, Counselor of Legation.
  2. For documentation relative to the arrest of Juliu Maniu, President of the Rumanian National Peasant Party, see pp. 493–510.
  3. Not printed.