871.00/10–1347: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


4485. Leg Bucharest reports trial Maniu et al now scheduled begin Nov 2.

US position concerning Rum Govt’s prosecution Maniu, National Peasant and other Opposition leaders has been made public (Deptel 458 to Bucharest rptd London 3258 Jul 302 and previous) and Brit attitude similarly announced. There would seem to be little US and Britain can usefully add to those statements at this time. However, continued silence on our part after trial commences might well be interpreted both here and in Eastern Europe as implying US and Brit acknowledgment, on basis Petkov case, impotence that area and abandonment democratic elements which look to West for encouragement. In addition, it seems clear that failure take some action in defense of Maniu, whose trial so closely follows entry into force of peace treaty, would be taken to presage US and Brit conclusion that no useful purpose will be served in endeavoring to utilize treaty human rights provisions on behalf peoples ex-satellites.

[Page 496]

We believe that, despite obvious unlikelihood that material improvement situation can be achieved in Rum under present conditions, it is desirable, at least as a manifestation of our continued interest, that we exhaust the possibilities of the treaty machinery. We feel that as a first step we should demand, as we understand the US Leg has already undertaken to do, that full provision be made for US observers at the trials. Refusal permit observation would obviously constitute violation rights Chiefs of Mission under Art 37 (3) of treaty. On the other hand, if observation allowed, as seems likely from Bucharest’s 51 Oct 11,3 trial and conviction on specious charges will violate Art 3. In either case we would make direct representations Rum Govt and, upon latter’s rejection our position, handle matter as dispute accordance Art 38, following through against Soviet obstruction in effort obtain condemnation of Rum action by controlling decision of commissioner appointed by UN Sec Gen.

Please discuss foregoing Brit FonOff indicating we will appreciate expression Brit thoughts in matter. Comments Leg Bucharest, after consultation Brit colleague, and of Emb Moscow, also desired.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Moscow as 1852 and to Bucharest as 633.
  2. The reference here is to a telegram containing the text of a note which was subsequently delivered to the Rumanian Foreign Minister by Acting Representative Melbourne on August 6. Regarding that note, see the editorial note, p. 492.
  3. Not printed.