Secretary’s Memoranda, Lot 53D444

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Secretary of State


I telephoned the President1 today on another matter and he brought up the subject of our telegram to him about Ambassador Heath in Bulgaria.2 The President said that he thought that the procedure [Page 373] outlined in the telegram was the correct one; that he could see no other procedure to follow. I reiterated that if our policy worked out (as we hoped it would) we would leave the Ambassador there.

The President and I agreed that, while we thought it important to react strongly to any campaign in the satellite countries to humiliate us, we should not get in the position of stating that the Bulgarian case is a precedent and that we will recall our ambassadors from other countries under similar circumstances, but that we should be able to, take what we think is the right course in each country.

D[ean] A[cheson]
  1. The President was vacationing at Key West, Florida.
  2. At his daily meeting on the morning of December 12 with his principal advisers, the Secretary of State heard a presentation by Assistant Secretary of State Perkins of the question of relations with Bulgaria. Perkins recommended that relations with Bulgaria be broken if the situation continued its current course. Perkins proposed the text of the telegram to be sent to President Truman on the Bulgarian situation. The telegram outlined the background of the current situation and the course of action described in telegram 426, December 12, to Sofia (p. 375). The Secretary was informed that the telegram constituted the first occasion that the President was apprised of the Bulgarian-situation. After considerable discussion, the telegram to the President was approved. The Secretary asked that the telegram be sent to the President immediately, and that arrangements be made for him (the Secretary) to speak to the President early that afternoon (Secretary’s Daily Meetings, Lot 58D609).