864.00/3–947: Telegram

The Minister in Hungary (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

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365. Soviet note to General Weems1 was delivered to him about 8 o’clock last night and after being translated was brought to my attention today. General Weems feels and I concur that since Hungarian press has today published both his note March 5 and Soviet reply it is highly desirable to keep public interest alive by prompt answer. I also recall that in Department’s telegram 210, March 3, Department indicated démarche taken was considered “first step” in procedure contemplated which suggested that further action if any should not be delayed any longer then necessary.

General Weems points out that Sviridov’s reply takes no account of following circumstances referred to in American note:

Investigation to date of alleged plot has been conducted only by political police which is dominated by Communist Party. Smallholders have endeavored to obtain Parliamentary investigation of conspiracy on inter-party basis ever since alleged involvement of at least six members of Parliament but Communists have successfully resisted this effort (my telegrams 207, February 10; 217, February 11; 222, February 12; 225, February 13 and 298, February 262).
Present Peoples Court now conducting trials is Communist dominated although member of each party is allowed on court (my telegrams 303, February 26 and 325, March 43).
As to announcements by Nagy and other Smallholder leaders re plot as well as waiver of immunity of Smallholder Deputies allegedly implicated in plots, it has been obvious that these statements have been made under circumstances of manifest duress as indicated by fact that Smallholder leaders who disagreed with these statements [Page 279] have been systematically eliminated (my telegrams 307, February 284 and 321, March 35).
Although we admit normal arrests by occupation forces not subject to intervention by other powers the fact that Béla Kovács was not arrested by occupation forces until every stratagem by Communist Party to have Kovács’ immunity waived and arrest made by political police proved unavailing is significant (my telegram 337, March 65).

These points in my opinion are well taken and Department may wish to use them in formulating answer. Unaccustomed haste and timing with which Soviet reply to Weems’ note was made suggests awareness of being on defensive in this issue and emphasizes expediency of prompt action by Department in following up advantage. I am bound to add that Hungarian Government is obviously so intimidated by direct and indirect Soviet pressure upon it that inconclusive handling of our controversy with Soviets precipitated by our note March 5 will do nothing to overcome present paralysis of Hungarian Government (my telegram 363, March 85) and that in this event we can look for even less cooperation from Nagy than has been given us so far in restoring authority of majority party in this country.

  1. Supra.
  2. None printed.
  3. Neither printed.
  4. Ante, p. 271.
  5. Not printed.
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