871.00/11–1047: Telegram

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

secret   priority

161. I warmly concur in contents of your proposed note (urtel 670, November 6, 6 p.m.) answering charges in Maniu trial of US involvement in alleged conspiracy to overthrow Rumanian Govt by force but I dissent from proposed method of conveying these views.

I have discussed subject of parallel British action with Holman who is opposed to a British note and prefers his government to meet Rumanian attack on or through a parliamentary statement. He thinks it is particularly important to avoid any sweeping statement until trial is over lest Rumanian Govt confronts us with further documentary revelations. While Holman said he desired to cooperate fully with us he thinks there is a “difference in degree” (Hall-Hamilton angle) in attack against us and in attack against them which may justify a “difference in approach.” I feel in present case suggested difference of approach would amount to a cleavage. If British go along, I believe it will be with reluctance and it is my guess they will not. In circumstances I believe if we send a note we shall be alone. I should not mind this if I did not feel a note would be unwise. This is not an effort between governments to reach agreement. It is a propaganda war. Rumanian Govt did not address itself to US Government in its charges but to world opinion and particularly to opinion in Soviet-dominated eastern Europe. I see no reason to address our reply to Rumanian Govt but many reasons for addressing ourselves to the same audience.

I, therefore, favor method proposed in my 156, November 8, 11 a.m., that is, an official statement or answer to a question in press conference. [Page 507] There is in my opinion no advantage we can get from addressing our views to Rumanian Govt by note that we cannot get by the method of an official statement. Indeed by that method we can reach as wide an audience and get all the advantages we could get from the note method without the latter’s disadvantages.

I believe Rumanian Govt would be highly gratified to receive such a note. It would regard this as best proof that campaign had struck home. It would doubtless use opportunity thus afforded by distracting attention from contents of note by some move such as refusal to accept note, putting out some additional fabricated or purloined document or by a reply giving added currency to its views.

I also suggest Dept reassure [reassess?] its position in light of appointment on November 7 of Mrs. Ana Pauker as FonMin. As the most fiery Communist and personality closest to Moscow, I believe she would welcome nothing more at the outset of her term of office than opportunity to give the US a resounding rebuff. I hesitate to think of the propaganda possibilities inherent in the fact that she is a woman.

Whether she would go so far as to use it as Mr. Ionitu the King’s private secretary intimated (mytel 153, November 7, 7 p.m.1) [apparent garble] as pretext to break relations, I do not know. Rumors to that effect are current. It is at least advisable to bear in mind that this warning came from a friendly source.

If Rumanian Govt has such an intention, it will doubtless find or create an occasion for implementing it. If we should perhaps not provide it with a ready-made pretext, or if we do, we should do so with our eyes open.

  1. Not printed; it reported that Myrcea Ioanitziu, King Mihai’s private secretary, had called upon Minister Schoenfeld to report that Prime Minister Groza had just requested the King to appoint Communist Party leaders Aria Pauker and Vasile Iiuca to the Cabinet to replace recently resigned Dissident Liberal Party ministers. The King was in a dilemma as to whether to agree, and Ioanitziu asked Schoenfeld if he had any suggestions (871.00/11–747).