871.001 Mihai/11–2247: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Douglas ) to the Acting Secretary of State

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6153. Personal for Lovett from Douglas.

At King Michael’s request, met him and Queen Mother Helen yesterday afternoon.1 They explained the situation in Rumania as follows: [Page 509]
The Communists had gained control of the important posts in the Cabinet. All members of the Cabinet not clearly members of the Communist Party were completely subservient to the Communist members.
Practically all of their friends and most of the independent professors in universities had been imprisoned.
His power to dissolve the Parliament or to change the government had, in practice, been stripped from him.
Should he return to Rumania, he would, therefore, be required either to sign Communist decrees with which he does not agree, or alternatively, to abdicate. The former he will not do; the latter would mean either death or imprisonment, probably somewhere deep in Russia.
I explained to him that he, and he alone, must decide whether to return to his country or to remain away. We recognized the services that he had performed and entertained doubts as to whether in the future he could continue to perform any useful service for his country. We were not urging him to decide either to resume his responsibilities in his country, or to take this opportunity and not to return.2
  • (a) He asked whether he could come to the United States; and
  • (b) Whether from the United States he could issue a proclamation to his people which he felt was incumbent on him to do. In this connection he expressed doubt that the British would permit him to issue a proclamation from England. He had not, however, seen Bevin, but will do so Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock.
  • (c) He suggested that he see Secretary Marshall.
As to 3. (a), (b) and (c) above, I told him I would explore the matter with Secretary Marshall. Have not discussed this with Secretary Marshall as yet.3
It is our judgment, however, that should he leave for the US before issuing a proclamation, his departure would become public knowledge and any proclamation which he might later make from the US would be, during the interim of his trip, invalidated by action taken by Communist Cabinet in Rumania. As a practical matter, therefore, we do not consider it advisable for him to leave England for the US and on his arrival there to issue the proclamation he has in mind. Moreover, we doubt that at this juncture he should use the US as a center for political activities. Accordingly, it seems to us that he should, if he decides not to return to Rumania, make public his proclamation, by press conference or otherwise, while in Europe.
As to 3 (a), we see no reason why, after having issued his proclamation from Europe, he should not be granted a visa to visit the US.
As to 3 (c), it is our tentative view that it would be preferable were he to see Marshall after having made his decision either to return or not to return, and after having issued his proclamation.
I will see Michael again either late Monday afternoon or sometime Tuesday after he has seen Bevin.

I was very much impressed with the young man, his sense of responsibility, and his attachment to duty. He has a most difficult question to decide. He was obviously determined to do the right thing.

  1. King Mihai had come to London for the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on November 20.
  2. The statements made here by Ambassador Douglas were in accordance with instructions contained in telegram 4802, November 12, to London, not printed (871.001 Mihai/11–747).
  3. Secretary of State Marshall was in London for the Fifth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, November 25–December 15. King Mihai did not meet with the Secretary.