124.74/11–1049: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Bulgaria


382. Re ur 932 Nov 9.1 Subj ur concurrence Dept feels time appropriate inform FonOff along fol lines orally or by note, whichever method you consider most appropriate:2

BulGovt has demonstrated conclusively through public and official actions desire restrict relations between US and Bulg to narrowest concept conceivable sufficient only maintain official channel communications between respective govts.
Since BulGovt desires such severely restricted relationship rather than one aimed promotion increasingly broader understanding between Bulg and Amer people US Govt has desired for some time reduce Amer staff Leg to size conforming more realistically to restricted pattern.
US Govt unable implement planned reduction Leg staff due BulGovts hostile attitude toward Leg and its personnel and unprecedented policy Bulg FonOff refusing act over extended period time upon visa applications Amer personnel assigned Leg. Due excessive admin burden resulting directly actions BulGovt and owing uncertainty issuance Bulg visas Amer personnel Dept has had great difficulty maintaining balanced Leg staff. BulGovt not justified in complaints about situation resulting largely from own unwarranted actions.
As soon as BulGovt acts upon pending visa applications (Dept assumes you will not require all presently assigned personnel and will wish indicate FonOff certain of pending requests will be withdrawn) and Leg is assured its normal operations will not be hampered and future visa applications for replacement personnel will be processed promptly, US Govt will proceed implement plans for smaller staff.
Point out FonOff shld appreciate, no matter how large or small staff may be in order maintain proper balance, essential replacement personnel receive visas without undue delay, and reiterate re Leg note 401 Oct 133 US Govt position that specific number personnel assigned any given time matter for determination US rather than BulGovt.
In conclusion emphasize US Govt looks forward time when BulGovt will deem advantageous adopt broader concept basic purposes maintaining friendly relations with US.

Subj receipt ur comments and recommendations upon staffing pattern study discussed London Conf,4 Depts present thinking wld indicate ultimate size ur staff will be somewhere between figures 24 and 30. While Dept considers inadvisable make commitment BulGovt re specific number personnel deemed necessary, you might let BulGovt know informally that total will be under 33.

  1. Not printed; it reported that Assistant Foreign Minister Kamenov had renewed the Bulgarian demand for a reduction of the personnel in the Legation (123 Colligan, William J.).
  2. In his telegram 947, November 15, from Sofia, not printed, Minister Heath reported that he had expressed orally to Bulgarian Assistant Foreign Minister the observations contained in the six numbered paragraphs presented here. Heath reported as follows on Kamenov’s reactions:

    “Kamenov demurred rather violently at the phrase ‘Bulgarian Government’s hostile attitude toward Legation’ and also insisted that it is not desire of Bulgarian Government to restrict relations between countries and Legation to narrowest concept conceivable. He asserted that Bulgarian Government, on contrary, was anxious to develop cultural and commercial relations and he added smilingly and surprisingly, with an improved relationship between two countries ‘Bulgaria would welcome development of military relations’. He would not explain what he meant by latter phrase.” (124.74/11–1549)

  3. Not printed, but regarding the note under reference, see footnote 2 to telegram 864, October 12, from Sofia, p. 353.
  4. For documentation, see pp. 2735.