123 Heath, Donald R.: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria ( Heath ) to the Secretary of State

top secret


1044. Deptel 414, December 7.1 I definitely concur that note and supplementary oral representations proposed in Department’s reftel should be delivered least possible delay. I suggest however, that they be delivered simultaneously both in Washington and Sofia. To the oral representations might be added the attacks on me in a newspaper article written by Acting Political Department Director of Foreign Office (Legtel 1035, December 92) and Foreign Office press section communiqué (Legtel 1040, December 93) flatly characterizing Colonel Yatsevitch and myself as “spies”.

It is probable that Foreign Minister himself will not receive me. He told Italian Minister yesterday at function for departing Hungarian Minister that he would be unable to see anyone until after December 18 as he had to return to his home district (Pirin Macedonia) to work for the success of the “elections”.

While I am sceptical that note and representations will have any deterrent effect we must make the try. Otherwise there is little doubt that immediately after close of Kostov trial (probably middle of next week) Foreign Office will ask my recall.

Of course if our representations fail to deter the Soviet rulers of Bulgaria we must promptly break relations. My ideas as to timing and manner of such a step will be given in an immediately following telegram. I favor such a step provided it is followed up at once by effective action which should include: (1) rapid completion of our case against Bulgarian treaty violation with the idea of getting a General Assembly finding that the present Bulgarian regime is illegal and its violations of peace treaty and other actions present threat to peace in this area;4 (2) intensification of economic restrictions preferably involving some preclusive buying from European suppliers of Bulgaria5 and, (3) legitimate and effective assistance to a democratic refugee organization if only for the intelligence that such an organization properly guided could obtain from its contacts through the [Page 372] Curtain. The mere severance of relations not vigorously followed up would not only be regarded with cynical amusement by Soviets even if we persuaded other western powers to follow suit but would be severe blow to Bulgaria and other peoples.

Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, see pp. 61 ff.

But if on contrary we follow with consistently positive action it will bring stiffening of passive resistance and unsettling of Soviet plan and confidence.6

Sent Department 1044, repeated Warsaw 14, Praha 27, Belgrade 74, Budapest 37, Bucharest 29, Department pass to Moscow 44.

  1. Ante, p. 366.
  2. Not printed. It reported that the article under reference here, written by Todor Guenor and appearing in the newspaper Otchestven Front (the organ of the Communist-dominated Fatherland Front), accused the American and British Governments of engaging in espionage and subversive activity through the official representatives (123 Heath, Donald R.).
  3. Not printed.
  4. For documentation on the efforts of the United States to assure fulfillment of the human rights articles of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty, see pp. 223 ff.
  5. For documentation on the United States policy with respect to trade with Eatern Europe and the Soviet Union, see pp. 61 ff.
  6. In his telegram 1046, December 10, from Sofia, not printed, Minister Heath recommended certain steps that might be taken if the Bulgarian Government demanded his recall. Initially, he would be instructed to return to Washington) for consultation. If after several weeks the Bulgarian Government gave no evidence of correcting its attitude, a formal note would be sent announcing the breaking of relations and the reasons therefore. At the same time the United: States would announce its intention of raising in the United Nations the question of the legality of the Bulgarian regime (123 Heath, Donald R.). In his telegram 1047, December 10, from Sofia, not printed, Heath attempted further to clarify his viewpoint. He felt that if the Bulgarian Government did not request his recall following the Kostov trial, the United States ought not immediately to take the initiative in severing relations. The Bulgarian propaganda machine would exploit such an initiative as an admission of guilt. The United States should be prepared, however, to proceed to the breaking of relations, since it was certain that violations of the peace treaty would continue-cumulatively to increase as would the campaign of hatred against the Western; countries (123 Heath, Donald R.).