871.00/10–2047: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State


5609. Watson assistant head Southern Department Foreign Office gave us following preliminary views concerning Department’s telegram 4485, October 17 re Maniu’s trial. Watson said these views could be taken as Under Secretary Warner’s thoughts.

Watson said Foreign Office in full agreement that we should press for observers at Maniu trial. He said, however, that Foreign Office thought State Department was inclined to Foreign Office’s view that, relative to legal right under Article 37 Rumanian peace treaty, our right to act independently of Russians debatable.

According to Watson, Foreign Office feels Article 38 of treaty should be used in first instance in a firm practical case where award of arbitrator would be specific: that is, a case of reparations to Greece, oil properties, etc., and secondly in more doubtful case such as right to inspect frontier or to send observers to trial. Foreign Office is doubtful of wisdom of using Article 38 machinery for purpose of securing moral condemnation of Rumanian Government for violating human rights article when such condemnation, because of periods provided for various steps, would be at least three months late and unenforceable.

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Foreign Office feels however that full publicity, such as in Petkov case,1 should be utilized. Foreign Office feels that publicity in Petkov case was very effective and Watson stated that, according to most confidential report reaching Foreign Office, official of Rumanian Embassy here indicated, in light of bad impression resulting from Petkov publicity, Rumanian Government might find it inadvisable to execute Maniu.

Watson said if Department feels strongly on foregoing matter, Howe [apparent garble] Foreign Office will consider its position further.

Sent Department 5609, repeated Bucharest 43; Moscow 302.

  1. For documentation on the efforts of the United States to secure the postponement of the trial of Nikola Petkov, the leading Bulgarian opposition leader accused of an anti-state conspiracy, and subsequently, to secure some revision In the death penalty imposed on Petkov, see pp. 159183 passim.