Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Webb)


Participants: Mr. Webb, Under Secretary of State
Mr. Imre Horvath, Hungarian Minister1
Mr. Yost, Director, Office of Eastern European Affairs

I informed the Hungarian Minister that I had asked him to call in order to present him with a copy of a note on the case of Robert Vogeler which our Minister in Budapest is today presenting to the Hungarian Foreign Office.2 I pointed out that Mr. Vogeler, who is an important official of an American corporation, has been held incommunicado for over a month in spite of repeated representations by our Legation in Budapest. I emphasized that the US Government regards the failure of the Hungarian Government to respond to our representations in this case with deepest concern and that it is expressing this concern through this note, a copy of which I handed him and which I emphasized is couched in strong terms. At the same time I added that the US Government is today, in view of the unwillingness of the Hungarian Government to afford adequate protection to US citizens traveling in Hungary, announcing that such travel will no longer be permitted.

I concluded by pointing out that, if the Hungarian Government did [Page 493] not respond to our request for the prompt release of Mr. Vogeler, we would be obliged to consider further measures. Since the Hungarian Government is making it impossible, by denying to our consular officers access to Mr. Vogeler, for them to perform their normal consular functions, we would have to give consideration to whether or not we should longer permit Hungarian consular officers to perform similar functions in this country.3

The Hungarian Minister replied very briefly to the effect that he would immediately transmit to his government the remarks which I had made.

James E. Webb
  1. Horvath, the newly appointed Hungarian Minister, presented his credentials to President Truman on October 17.
  2. Regarding the note under reference, see editorial note, infra.
  3. Telegram 715, December 19, to Budapest, not printed, stated that if the Hungarian response to the demand for the release of Vogeler proved negative, the Department envisaged further steps within a week or ten days to close the Hungarian Consulates in Cleveland and New York. Minister Davis was authorized to indicate orally to Foreign Minister Kállai the probability of such action (364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.).