871.00/10–848: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Switzerland


A–268. The continuing quarrels of the Rumanian political exiles found new pretexts in the Gafencu–Coste memorandum (urtel 1326, [Page 432] Oct 8).1 The rancorous quibbling appears to be essentially on a plane of personalities rationalized as principles.

In the circumstances, on October 19 the Department informally communicated to General Radescu through his secretary the following:

“Some erroneous impressions of the Department’s position with respect to the Rumanian political exiles seem to exist. We do not suggest that the Department’s views in this regard have been consciously misinterpreted by persons to whom they have been expressed.

“As has been emphasized previously to all concerned, the US Government is not sponsoring any individual Rumanian exiles for membership in a proposed Rumanian committee or otherwise.

“It is felt that the Department’s views concerning the activities of the Rumanian exiles in the US and the proposed formation by them of a cooperative enterprise on behalf of Rumania, consistent with US objectives for a free and democratic world, have been expressed with sufficient clarity to all who are interested and it is our impression that these views have been understood by General Radescu.

“The continuance of the discord among the Rumanian exiles with particular reference to the proposed cooperative undertaking is regarded by the Department as prejudicial to the objectives which it would be designed to serve. If within the near future these regrettable dissensions are not composed in the interest of a constructive contribution to the principal objectives, the Department may be obliged to reassess its position regarding the feasibility and utility of such an enterprise.”

In your discretion, you may inform Michael or his Aide of the foregoing. Substantially the same views have been conveyed to Messrs. Niculescu-Buzesti, Cretzianu and Davila in the course of recent conversations at the Department.

We have learned by informal transmission from General Radescu that he contemplates making within the near future a new effort, suggesting organization of a comprehensive “union” of such exiles as are prepared to participate, and that he has Michael’s sanction for making such an effort, the latter having reserved his position for the time being on the formation of a Rumanian national committee.

  1. The telegram under reference is not printed. In late July 1948, General Radescu issued membership invitations to sixteen Romanian exile leaders to join a proposed Romanian National Committee. Prior to the issuance of the invitation, Radescu was informed that although the Department of State did not wish to advise him as to whether or not such a Romanian National Committee should be formed, his proposal as earlier outlined to the Department was agreeable. Radescu’s proposal encountered various objections from other Romanian exiles, and the Committee was not convened. On September 3, 1948, former Romanian Foreign Minister Grigore Gafencu and former Romanian Chargé in Washington Brutus Coste called on Mr. Nickels of the Division of Southern European Affairs and had a long discussion regarding the Department’s views with respect to the Romanian exile movement. Gafencu and Coste prepared a transcript of the conversation which was submitted in draft to the Department. A copy of that transcript is included in file 871.00/10–1448.