364.1121 Vogeler, Robert A.: Telegram

The Minister in Hungary (Davis) to the Secretary of State


1407. Fifty minute interview Berei noon December 30 unproductive progress Vogeler case. Conversation revolved around following points from which he unshaken:

Vogeler suffering no ill treatment.
Minister Interior would not have issued December 25 communiqué1 without ample evidence and this does not mean investigation completed. Such public statements may be made at various stages investigation.
Speedy release Jacobson2 proves no anti-foreign bias, each case being treated on merits.
Juridical examination Consular Treaty discloses no right American citizen see Consul during investigation.
Foreigners enjoy same rights as Hungarians who may be held incommunicado during investigation.
Demand for constant visit to Vogeler amounts to demand for preferential treatment to which not entitled by Treaty or otherwise.
US Govt demanding release and asserting damages reverse of helpful “even if Hungarian authorities had had it in mind to release Vogeler such threatening note could only delay action.”

After further talk in which neither conceded anything I proposed to take advantage new year to wipe slate clean by expelling Vogeler, desist further note writing or counter measures, forget matter with view peaceful consideration many questions pending between US and Hungary. Emphasized this my personal proposal without Department [Page 498] knowledge. Berei replied would lay it before government but expressed opinion Hungarians would find it difficult accept view over “threatening” note and would give no indication when I could expect reply.

Mokma and I both gained strong impression Berei’s words and manner trial determined on and Hungarians expect guilty verdict. For example he commented trial Hungarian accused would be difficult with Vogeler absent implying he is to be chief culprit or at least star witness.

Though recognizing slender hope my suggestion will be adopted recommend Department give me discretion as to timing delivery its reply to Hungarian note of December 243 (which I understand Department will telegraph me). I would of course advise Department well in advance (by phone if necessary) of date hour delivery.

Sent Department 1407 repeated Vienna 178 Prague 90.

  1. The communiqué under reference announced that Hungarian investigative authorities were convinced that Vogeler had committed acts of espionage against Hungary.
  2. Regarding the release of Jacobson, see telegram 1782, December 28, from Vienna, supra.
  3. Regarding the Hungarian Foreign Ministry note of December 24, see editorial note, p. 493.