The Chargé in Romania (Pigott) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I desire to acknowledge your letter of February 16, 1949 enclosing a copy of the January 1949 Policy Statement on Rumania1 and requesting comment and recommendations on the contents of the Statement.
The Statement leaves little to be desired in the scope of the subject matter covered or in the comprehensive treatment given the various facets of our relations with and interest in Rumania. If there is any cause to take exception to the Statement it might be in the interpretation of the character of the Rumanian society and institutions and the occasional seeming failure to evaluate the practical possibilities of accomplishment or application of our stated objectives.
I must confess in reading portions of the Statement to a certain feeling of unreality in the objectives expressed and of a sense of lofty [Page 536] idealism unrelated to the practical prospects of attainment. While, for example, it may be our sincere desire to provide for the people of Rumania conditions conducive to the establishment of a true democracy with all its attendant advantages, it must be remembered that democracy in the accepted Western sense has never existed in Rumania nor are the people presently capable of accepting in a full sense its advantages and obligations. It seems to me therefore that our objectives should reflect these limitations and that we should concern ourselves with the more practical objective of providing a regime in Rumania, however faulty in its attainments of practical democracy, which will at least provide the basic human rights and freedoms and permit the people of Rumania to live in peace.
Where we may desire to promote such desirable objectives as the encouragement of passive resistance among the Rumanian people or the opposition to further Communist encroachment, we should qualify such aims to the extent of our capacity to bring them to successful fruition. Otherwise the statements take on the character of pious hopes and dilute the force of other elements of policy.
The Statement refers at various points to a reliance upon the peasant as the broad base upon which a truly democratic government in Rumania may be founded. I fear this overrates the peasants’ concept of or interest in democratic government. The best that might be hoped for is that the peasantry could be brought to form the mass support of leaders with democratic intentions.
There appears a tendency in the mental approach to the discussion of certain problems to consider Rumania as a component of a group of more or less identical satellites and to analyze these problems from a “satellite” viewpoint. It should be borne in mind in any grouping of treatment that the peculiar geographic position of Rumania, isolated as it is from the West, makes it possible for the present government to resist Western pressure much more effectually than certain other satellites and, without fear of effective reprisal, to conduct its affairs with almost complete disregard of Western interests.
In the matter of presentation I find the Statement somewhat diffuse and, in places, repetitious. Similarities of thought and interest occur between statements under the headings of Objectives, Policy Issues and Policy Evaluation which, though perhaps unavoidable in some instances, could better serve clarity and comprehension if consolidated. The value of the Statement could be distinctly enhanced by a more succinct expression of our policy and problems, and by a better grouping of related ideas.
There arises the question of the audience for which this document is designed. If it is designed for those reasonably familiar with the Rumanian scene much of the present explanatory matter could be left out and the Statement drawn down to perhaps three or four pages. [Page 537] If, on the other hand, it is designed to familiarize persons with Rumanian problems then, in parts at least and particularly in the Political Section, it might be desirable to reinstate in the discussion of the various objectives and issues terse statements of the backgrounds and reasons for these conclusions.
Specific comments on the various sections of the Policy Statement are treated in the enclosure.
- The transmittal letter under reference here is not printed. The Policy Statement on Romania is printed on p. 521.↩
- The memorandum was prepared by C. Montagu Pigott, Chargé in Romania, and by C, Vaughan Ferguson and Robert C. Creel Second Secretaries of the Legation.↩
- Neither printed.↩
- For documentation on the efforts of the United States to assure fulfillment of the human rights articles of the Treaties of Peace with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, see pp. 223 ff.↩
- For documentation on the continuing negotiations for an Austrian peace settlement, see vol. iii, pp. 1066 ff.↩
- Kurt Schumacher, Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party.↩
- Alcide de Gasperi, Italian Prime Minister and leader of the Christian Democratic Party.↩