740.0011 EW (Peace)/10–3047: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Bulgaria


482. For Heath. Brit FonOff views re various aspects treaty implementation (Legtel 990 Oct 30) were communicated Dept by Brit Emb in aide-mémoire dated October 25. Texts aide-mémoire and memorandum embodying Dept’s comments thereon which were given Emb follow by air pouch.1

Dept shares FonOff’s view that in cases involving violations Articles 2 and 3 it is likely to prove more difficult, if not impossible, obtain satisfaction from Bulg Govt than in cases involving violations economic and military articles. Possible subterfuges to which Bulg Govt can resort, such as citation Article 4, are numerous and record and intentions Bulg Govt are too patent for optimism on this score. However, notwithstanding poor prospects for success in such cases and questionable thesis that failure to obtain satisfaction from Bulg Govt might prejudice other cases, Dept in keeping with its view that blackest blot on FF Govt’s record is its utter disregard for human rights and civil liberties, considers that it is incumbent upon US Govt to combat violations Articles 2 and 3 as vigorously as circumstances may permit in order that such violations and our attitude thereon may be matters official record and in order that Bulg Govt is offered no grounds for considering that silence gives consent. It appears Dept, on other hand, that the practically continuous violation Articles 2 and 3 by Bulg Govt, coupled with desirability your taking action only on fully documented and unambiguous cases, will in effect impose certain practical limitations on number cases on which you can act. Dept considers that vigorous and comprehensive action in case such as Petkov’s can be [Page 44] expected to yield more positive results for purposes record and public opinion than action in dozen cases involving lesser figures with less un-compromised records. (Parenthetically Dept has impression FonOff’s rejection Sterndale-Bennett’s suggestion re further action in Petkov case may not necessarily stem from FonOff’s restrictive approach to general question treaty enforcement but rather at least in part from added factor that action in Petkov case occurred prior to entry into force of treaty and from tactical considerations.)

On basis exchanges of views in Sofia and Wash there appears to be unanimity re maintenance flexibility in matter US–UK cooperation re implementation treaty. As action to be taken by each Govt must necessarily depend on circumstances in each individual case, Dept considers ad hoc determination respective roles US–UK reps desirable. Dept naturally hopes that in general Brit Govt will support US representations by appropriate means in order that Bulg Govt may be given no grounds for belief that attitudes Western democracies differ with respect to necessity Bulg Govt’s fulfilling its treaty obligations.

Sent Sofia as 482, rptd London 4696, Moscow 1911, Rome 2269, Budapest 1135, and Bucharest 662.

  1. For the Department’s comments under reference here, see the memorandum by Barbour, October 28, p. 38.