871.00/2–547: Telegram

The Representative in Rumania ( Berry ) to the Secretary of State

secret   urgent

100. ReDeptel 61, January 31.1 Following paragraphs summarize developments of my thinking in interval between making my recommendations following Rumanian election (remytel 1101, November 232 and even before Paris signing of Rumanian treaty.3 The numbered paragraphs correspond in subject matter to those of my telegram 1101.

Acting Secretary in press conference of November 22 commented that Rumanian elections were not free and unfettered elections anticipated by Moscow Decision and promised by Groza4 Government.
Dept expected then to send notes to Rumania and British Governments stating Rumanian Government had not fulfilled its promises given in connection with acceptance of Moscow decisions. At that time I considered such move essential, as I believed coming into force of peace treaty would terminate wartime agreements of Yalta, Potsdam and Moscow, except for those provisions of agreements that are incorporated in texts of treaties. I am now pleased to learn Dept holds treaties will not invalidate Yalta, Postdam and Moscow agreements and (reDeptel 61, January 31) that way continues open for us to take direct interest in Rumanian affairs.
I believe Rumanians will contest this point of view. Groza, after staging a crudely manipulated election and winning our tolerance of [Page 474] heavily falsified returns, has let it be understood that in affairs with western democracies, he is in position to promise anything, to do exactly what he pleases about his promises, and to get by with what he does.
I believe Soviets will also contest our point of view. Even during armistice period, they worked persistently to develop fiction that Rumania was sovereign state and decisions of Rumanian political leaders were Rumanian decisions. Rather than govern, they preferred to pull strings of the governors. The reason for this attitude is more valid under treaty than under armistice. Nevertheless, if our point of view is otherwise, and we are determined to stick to it, we will by implementation of our attitude continue to give courage to Rumanian democratic elements.
In November and today, I believe the only real solution of Rumanian problem is possible after agreement through discussion of problem on same level that produced Moscow decisions. I am not hopeful that such a discussion will bring about an agreement. In November, I considered such discussion urgent, thinking it would be barred by coming into effect of peace treaty. Now that I learn treaty does not supersede Moscow Agreement, discussion is not so urgent, but keeping Rumanian problems a live issue remains important. Therefore, Department’s plan is good to send Rumanian Government communication, which will be made public before exchange of ratifications, pointing out its treaty obligations in regard to human rights and that implementation of treaty would not only improve political, social and economic life of Rumanian people, but enable Rumania to take its place as member of UN. In this connection, that our statements not have a hollow ring in Rumania, I urge we be [apparent garble] to continuing validity of Yalta, Potsdam and Moscow decisions and that US Government believes new elections are in order.
In November, I recommended my early transfer as at that time I thought in view of Acting Secretary’s Rumanian election statement, my activities would bring a diminishing return, particularly in government circles. But time showed election was boomerang that came back to cripple government. In fact, position of government leaders deteriorated faster with Rumanian people than my position did with those leaders, with result that I was stronger relatively than I expected to find myself. Consequently, I am now of opinion my transfer should take place after agreement for American Minister is asked and received. His arrival then for reasons stated in next paragraph should not be long delayed. I repeat my recommendations (mytel 100 [1101?] November 23) that Melbourne and Hulick4 be transferred.
I agree with Dept that treaty ratification concluded legal basis for existence in Rumania of an informal official mission. I agree too that for both political and practical reasons, US should, after obtaining Senate consent of ratification, proceed with exchange of diplomatic representatives.
If we could view Rumania as an isolated case, I would repeat my recommendation that we indicate disapproval of Groza Government by making our representative Chargé d’Affaires with personal rank of Minister. But Rumania is not a special case. It is an integral part of western border area of Soviet Union. It, like each of other states in that area, has been dominated militarily, economically and politically by Soviet Union. Unless Rumanian Government requests otherwise, military domination after effective date of Rumanian treaty should diminish and finally disappear after effective date of Austrian treaty. But threat of military domination will remain, and political and economic domination will so be intensified. Dept is well aware from my and other reports of extent of this political domination. Reports of economic domination are also impressive. I need only to mention Soviet Rumanian companies which give Soviets dominant position in air, ocean and river transport, and in lumber, banking and oil industries. I understood Soviets have recently obtained an 80% control petrol and coal mines and are negotiating for acquisition of controlling interest in Rumanian railways. Moreover, Soviet economic policy is directed towards maintaining an indefinite open account on reparations which means an indefinite absolute control over Rumanian economy.
From all I can learn Soviets are consolidating their authority in all border states before withdrawing Red Army. I expect them to wage fierce diplomatic battle to preserve political and economic position they acquired during immediate post-war period in these states. I now believe, therefore, that if we have an Ambassador in Poland and Yugoslavia, we should have a Minister in Rumania.
I believe that our Minister will be faced in first year of peace with problems that will challenge his best efforts. I am gratified from announcements of recent assignments, that Dept realizes Legation, Bucharest, will be faced with difficult task and therefore is making assignments of experienced men of proven ability. As period has now ended when missions of western democracies can serve their purpose by acting as brake on Communist machinations and supporting morale of opposition by keeping it informed of what is going on in outside world, Dept must be prepared to give its Minister full and prompt support in carrying through of its directives. It must be prepared to take active counter measures against a government that only half conceals its contempt for our strength; a government that builds its foreign [Page 476] relations upon basis of half-truths, or when they are unavailable, on complete falsehoods.
The King’s prestige has not been irrevocably lost by his actions since elections. Although Rumanian people generally regret that he has had to follow course he has, there is so little for them to hold on to that they grasp at that little. Thus, the Monarchy in Rumania today, while not being very strong, does furnish vehicle to which people can attach their hopes. King Michael still is on his throne and as long as he remains there, he will be an influence on the country. The foundation has been laid during armistice period for this influence to regard favorably American interests in Rumania.
  1. Not printed. It stated that the Department felt for both political and practical reasons that the United States should proceed with the exchange of diplomatic representatives with Rumania following the coming into force of the Peace Treaty with Rumania. From the practical standpoint, the Treaty would terminate the state of war and the armistice period and conclude the legal basis for informal missions in Rumania. From a political standpoint, the Treaty would not affect the Yalta, Potsdam, or Moscow agreements but would further oblige the Rumanian Government to respect the human rights of its citizens. Representative Berry’s comments were invited (740.00119 EW/1–2347).
  2. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 655.
  3. The Treaty of Peace with Rumania was signed in Paris on February 10, and ratifications were deposited in Moscow on September 15, on which date the treaty entered into force. For the text of the treaty, see Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 1649. For documentation on the signing, ratification and deposit of ratification of the treaty, see volume iii .
  4. Petru Groza, Rumanian Prime Minister.
  5. Roy M. Melbourne and Charles E. Hulick, Jr. were Foreign Service Officers with the Mission in Rumania.