364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary


696. Concur opinion ur 1315 Nov 27 (rptd Vienna) in reply Dept 689 Nov 26 (rptd Vienna) that formal note on Vogeler case shld not [Page 485] be sent Hung FonOff at this time.1 However, in view lack progress toward obtaining his release (ur 1321 Nov 29 and 1327 Nov 30 sent Vienna2). Dept proposes unless you perceive objection, that you call on FonMin or UnSecy Berei soonest and make oral representations along lines paras 1, 2, 3, 4, and, in ur discretion, 5 below:


US Govt deeply concerned and dissatisfied at attitude Hung Govt in Vogeler case. Continued inaction in face of ur rptd requests for explanation charges and for opportunity visit Vogeler can only serve confirm public impression, already widespread, that Hung auths have acted irresponsibly and with callous disregard of established principles humanity and equity.
US Govt finds no reason to believe charges against Vogeler anything but completely false, and evasiveness Hung officials necessarily corroborates that view and appears indicative of ulterior motives.
State of affairs exemplified by this case raises serious question in mind US Govt whether US cits can any longer transact normal business or visit in Hung without suffering intolerable molestation from Hung police auths ranging from surveillance and petty acts of persecution to arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention incommunicado. US Govt is accordingly giving urgent consideration to prohibition all travel by private US cits Hung and to such other steps as may be appropriate in circumstances if Vogeler case is not satisfactorily resolved in near future.
Absence prompt resolution Vogeler case must inevitably affect other aspects US-Hung relations.
In connection pt 3 above you may express view that, obviously, if situation shld continue wherein US consular officers are prevented from exercising rightful protective functions in cases involving US cits, US Govt wld probably also wish reconsider utility and justification existing arrangements under which Hung has been permitted maintain separate consular establishments in US. End.

For urinfo only, if foregoing representations unproductive within reasonable period, Dept contemplating delivery and publication formal protest denouncing conduct Hung Govt and notifying prohibition [Page 486] travel US cits Hung until further notice. This step wld of course be informally supplemented by Leg inaction, for such period as might be useful, on Hung requests in matters such as entry into US Zone Ger of Hung restitution official or of Swab ex-prisoners war who wish rejoin families there. Dept meanwhile wld also give further consideration advisability closing Hung consulates Cleveland and NY.

Dept believes chances favorable outcome case through Vogeler’s release greater if some of these pts are put before Hung Govt prior ur meeting with Rakosi mentioned ur 1328 Dec 1 (rptd Vienna).3 Any [pts?] not covered in ur interview with FonMin or Berei cld be used if necessary in talk with Rakosi.

Sent Budapest rptd Vienna, Frankfort.

  1. In telegram 689, November 26, to Budapest, not printed, the Department of State suggested that the Legation in Budapest continue to press the Hungarian Foreign Ministry for a full explanation of the charges against Vogeler and for immediate opportunity for Legation representatives to interview him. The Department was meanwhile considering the advisability of the Legation addressing a formal note to the Foreign Ministry protesting the Hungarian evasions to date and demanding prompt steps for Vogeler’s release (364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.). In his telegram 1315, November 27, Minister Davis expressed the belief that a note such as was suggested by the Department should be used only as a last resort. Davis continued to hope for a successful informal handling of the matter, Davis did suggest the utility of countermeasures against Hungary including the closure of Hungarian Consulates in the United States (364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.).
  2. Neither printed; they reported the continued lack of progress despite the daily pressure on the Foreign Ministry. Both Minister Davis and British Minister in Hungary Geoffrey A. Wallinger had lengthy interviews with Hungarian Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Andor Berei. Berei would only promise to ask the police authorities again when Vogeler (and Sanders) could be visited by Legation representatives (364.1121/Vogeler, Robert A.).
  3. Not printed; it reported that the Legation had been informed that Rákosi would see Minister Davis during the coming week (364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.). The interview in fact never took place.