124.743/8–2649: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Bulgaria

top secret


308. Since it seems to Dept speed in handling Shipkov case is vital, unless your approach to Kamenov (urtels 705 Aug 231 and 718 [Page 347] Aug 262) brings immediate concrete results you are given discretionary authorization to request urgent FonOff interview preferably with FonMin. At meeting you cld indicate knowledge of police pressures against Shipkov, state this Govt views with greatest repugnance unwarranted police action against Bulg employees of Leg, and that you entertain grave concern for Shipkov’s personal safety, adding info you have recd on fate Secoulov buttresses this view. Under circumstances, FonMin shld consider justified a request for exit visas for entire family. Refusal wld of course leave US no alternative to giving widespread publicity to entire subject, whereas acceptance your proposal cld be on understanding that US wld not publicize militia handling Shipkov and Secoulov cases unless other similar cases shld occur. Dept leaves to ur judgment handling of this point, knowing you appreciate absolute pledge cannot be given to maintain silence in all circumstances. You may state satisfactory settlement this case necessary to restore some degree of international comity to US-Bulg relations already strained by unfriendly Bulg attitude and actions toward US Leg. We are considering authorizing you take tougher line and hope telegraph further tomorrow. Pending further instructions you shld be guided by foregoing.

It wld be unfortunate complication if Mrs. Shipkov were taken into militia custody (ur 721 Aug 273). Hence you may retain her soonest (with child) as housekeeper.

  1. Supra.
  2. Not printed; it reported that Bulgarian Assistant Foreign Minister Kamenov had informed Minister Heath that the request for visas for Shipkov and his family had not yet been taken up with the newly designated Foreign Minister Vladimir Poptomov (124.743/8–2649).
  3. Not printed. It reported that Mrs. Shipkov had appeared at the Legation that day in a state of extreme agitation over the disappearance of her husband. Minister Heath felt it best not to inform Mrs. Shipkov of her husband’s whereabouts for fear that the Bulgarian police would extract such information from her (124.743/8–2749).