The Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Legation in Bulgaria 1
With reference to aide-mémoire submitted Assistant Foreign Minister Kamenov on December 3, by Minister Plenipotentiary USA Mr. Heath,2 as well as to the declarations of Assistant Secretary State USA Mr. Webb, made before Chargé of Legation of Peoples Republic Bulgaria Washington, Dr. Voutov,3 Ministry Foreign Affairs has honor to state following:
Ministry Foreign Affairs People’s Republic Bulgaria cannot share point of view of government of USA regarding inclusion in indictment of the part of the deposition of accused Traieho Kostov referring to his conversations with Minister Plenipotentiary of USA. Indictment is document originating with prosecutor which latter draws up according to rules and methods prescribed by the law on the validity of evidence and proofs brought out in examination. This activity on part of prosecutor falls within his own official competence and government cannot exert any influence in this connection.[Page 377]
Regarding authenticity of the findings assembled in the investigation, as well as that which concerns the well-founded character of the complaints formulated by the prosecution, it is surely within province of the Bulgarian Court to declare itself and sovereignly to formulate its judgment. Any other opinion or consideration in this connection could pretend to be neither authoritative nor binding. Moreover, this is fundamental principle of law in all civilized countries.
Importance of trial and interest Bulgarian people are showing in it, an interest completely justified in this instance, since it is a case bearing on its (the people’s) interests, confer completely on Bulgarian authorities, and on the press the right of making known all details of trial to widest range Bulgarian public opinion.
Regarding request of Mr. Heath addressed Ministry with view to obtaining thereby “friendly relations” so that his denial might be published in the Sofia papers, Ministry Foreign Affairs has evidenced its goodwill in requesting, through intermediary of directorate of press, Bulgarian papers to print the denial in question.4
Ministry Foreign Affairs of Peoples Republic Bulgaria is compelled, therefore, to point out that it considers the declarations of Assistant Secretary State Mr. Webb, made before Chargé d’Affaires of Peoples Republic Bulgaria in Washington, as well as ton 6 of the official communication published by Department of State on this occasion, to be absolutely incompatible, in form in which they were made, with established international custom.5
- The text printed here was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 1110, December 19, from Sofia, not printed. The translation was presumably prepared by the Legation.↩
- The aide-mémoire under reference is not printed, but see footnote 1 to telegram 1011, December 3, from Sofia, p. 365.↩
- See Under Secretary of State Webb’s memorandum of his conversation with Bulgarian Charge Voutov, December 12, p. 373.↩
- Telegram 1103, December 18, from Sofia, not printed, transmitted the text of a brief note from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry to the Legation stating that the Foreign Ministry had requested the Sofia newspapers to publish the text of the denial which Minister Heath had given the Foreign Ministry on December 3 (874.9111RR/12–1849). The denial appeared in Sofia newspapers on December 20.↩
- In his telegram 1113, December 20, from Sofia, not printed, Minister Heath observed that this aide-mémoire was the nearest thing to an apology which the Legation had ever received from the current Bulgarian regime. Heath further observed that it appeared clear that the Soviet Union did not wish the United States to sever relations with Bulgaria “at this time and over this precise issue” (874.00/12–2049).↩