864.00/3–347: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary 1

secret   urgent

210. Soviet arrest Kovács on pretext anti-Soviet activities following refusal Smallholders to waive his Parliamentary immunity appears to us to draw Hung political issue on clear line of Soviet political offensive against duly-elected Hung democratic majority. Soviet direct intervention in support Communist minority appears preclude possible local Hung resolution crisis and, in threatening render impossible functioning democratic processes Hungary, to raise question future exercise by Hung people of democratic sovereign independence envisaged in Peace Treaty. In view frequently pronounced purpose this Govt to assist Hung people toward Stable democratic political and economic rehabilitation and in line with obligations to this end assumed by us at Yalta, etc, Dept desires make clear its opposition this Soviet action and as first step suggests three-power examination of situation.

Accordingly, Dept proposes immediate joint US, UK and Soviet examination of matter and requests that communication along lines [Page 273] set forth in Dept’s immediately following tel be addressed at once by Gen Weems to the Chairman of the ACC in Budapest and also be transmitted to the Hung, UK and Soviet Govts by Legation Budapest and Embassies London and Moscow.2 It is further proposed to make public here text contained immediately following tel upon receipt reports of delivery in three capitals.

  1. This telegram was also sent to London as telegram 1002 and to Moscow as telegram 361. The telegram to Moscow contained the following additional paragraph:

    “Personal for the Ambassador from Acheson. We would much have preferred to consult you and obtain your views before asking you to send note of this importance to the Soviet Govt. Unfortunately, the situation in Hungary has moved so rapidly and things have deteriorated to such a point that it was not possible for us to do so. Our information is that the Prime Minister of Hungary may resign in the next day or so unless he receives some indication of support.”

  2. Telegram 1477, March 6, from London, not printed, reported that the British Foreign Office had instructed the British Representative in Hungary to inform the Allied Control Commission that the British Government agreed with the United States Government proposal to examine the Kovács case. The British Ambassador in the Soviet Union was to receive similar instructions (864.00/3–647).