740.00119 EW/1–2247: Telegram

The Representative in Bulgaria ( Barnes ) to the Secretary of State


58. If British Foreign Office thought on implementation Articles 33 and 34 draft peace treaty with Bulgaria, as set forth London’s telegram 403, January 20, to Department, indicative of extent to which treaty language may be expanded and distorted by interpretation, then certainly problem of treaty fulfillment will be complicated one limited only by imagination and ingenuity of three contending representatives charged with execution and interpretation. So far as I know language [Page 5] of Articles 33 and 34 nothing is said about any such elaborate and fixed procedures for execution and interpretation of treaty as Foreign Office seems to envisage.

I personally am convinced that few months experience with such procedure would suffice to make Department and whoever represents United States Sofia to regret agreement this nature on governmental level so long as any mention or reference to treaty might ever in future be made. In case of Bulgaria, British have already once led us “down garden path” in negotiations conducted Moscow by Churchill and Eden.1 For Heaven’s sakes let’s at long last act on our own experience and in instant case that experience is 2 years of bitter frustration of United States military representative ACC.

Treaty says that heads of diplomatic missions USSR, UK and US, acting in concert, will represent Allied and Associated Powers in all matters concerning execution and interpretation of treaty for period of 18 months. I can only urge that we follow this simple straightforward language and leave matter to three representatives on spot. “Acting in concert” certainly does not imply new straitjacket for our relations with Bulgaria in form of civilian ACC.

Three representatives will find way to deal with problem and because way they find will be shaped by force of circumstance, it will be practical one and not something arrived at by a priori reasoning which may well prove unrelated to reality because of Russian stubbornness and determination to hold us to agreement that they can use to our disadvantage.

I assume that if Bulgarian Government were suddenly to throw all opposition members Parliament into prison on grounds they are “reactionaries, Fascists and agents of foreign influence” United States Government would have something to say about matter under Article 2 of treaty. Do we want prior procedural agreement whereby, just as in armistice period, Russian representative Sofia could by strict interpretation of agreement, maintain we had no right in such circumstances to charge non-execution of treaty? Hundreds of similar possibilities could be cited. One should suffice. Primary merit of treaty relations as I see situation is that we will regain freedom of diplomatic [Page 6] action with respect to Bulgaria within limits of what our overall relations with Russia and UK permit. Let’s not voluntarily set up new bogeyman in form of civilian ACC.

Sent Department 58; repeated Budapest 3; Bucharest 5; London 11; Moscow 13.

  1. The reference here is presumably to the informal Anglo-Soviet understanding on percentages of predominance in the favor of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in certain Balkan countries. The understanding had been reached on October 9 and 10, 1944, in the course of discussions in Moscow between British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden on the one hand and Marshal Stalin and Foreign Commissar Molotov on the other. For accounts of these discussions, see Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953), pp. 226–235, and Sir Llewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War (London, 1962), pp. 307–308; see also Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, pp. 112131 passim, and The Memoirs of Cordell Hull (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1948), vol. ii, pp. 1451–1459.