864.00/1–2047: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary

secret   urgent

69. Dept concerned development current political situation Hungary urtels 88 Jan 201 and previous and desirous taking appropriate-steps to forestall apparent Communist efforts diminish strength democratic elements Hungary with view to supplanting democratic regime prior to coming into force peace treaty with probable consequent reduction Soviet military forces. Position this govt remains as set forth last March2 when we indicated apprehension lest further concessions to minority Communists by majority group lead to negation peoples’ mandate given PriMin’s Smallholder party in free elections 1945. It is our view that you should make this attitude clear on appropriate occasions.3

We are conscious importance buttressing US political support of democratic elements Hungary by material economic aid that country and are earnestly endeavoring find ways and means to make such economic assistance available without delay. To date difficulties have arisen as to possible sources of financing such assistance.

Meanwhile your recommendations urgently requested concerning effective steps of a political nature which would contribute toward preventing deterioration situation. In deciding advisability action this nature we feel public statement our continuing interest Hungary might rally popular support in country and strengthen hand of democratic elements. However, there may be factors which would suggest that such statement would only complicate PriMin’s position.

  1. Not printed.
  2. See telegram 288, March 19, 1946, to Budapest, Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 273.
  3. On January 15, Hungarian Minister Aladár Szegedy-Maszák conferred with Walworth Barbour, Associate Chief of the Division of Southern European Affairs, on the current political crisis in Hungary. Barbour’s memorandum of conversation on the meeting read in part as follows:

    “The Minister suggested that a further expression of US interest in maintaining the democratic elements in Hungary would do much to assist the Prime Minister in this most recent crisis. He said he particularly had in mind a reaffirmation of our earlier instructions to Schoenfeld concerning our interest that Nagy not abandon his electoral mandate by concessions to the Communists or an approach through the ACC requesting immediate public trial of those arrested.” (864.00/1–1547)