Memorandum by Mr. Charles E. Hulick, Jr., of the Office of Eastern European Affairs to the Director of That Office (Yost)1


Subject: Acknowledgment of Bulgarian National Committee’s Communication to the President.2

The attached letter of acknowledgment addressed to the President of the Bulgarian National Committee3 has been drafted in accordance with the recommendations contained in the EE paper of June 28, 1950,4 dealing with this policy question, and Mr. Campbell’s memorandum of May 94 on the subject of implementing the Secretary’s Berkeley speech,5 copies of which are attached.

This letter, over the signature of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, which represents a departure from past policy of limiting the substance to simply one or two-sentence polite acknowledgments from PL, is based upon the following considerations:

Diplomatic relations have been suspended with Bulgaria.6
The Bulgarian National Committee, under Dr. G. M. Dimitrov as President, formed in Bulgaria in 1944 and enjoys the confidence of the Bulgarian people.
The activities of the Committee abroad represent at one and the same time the one source of hope to the Bulgarian people and a disturbing potential threat to the Bulgarian Communists.
In order to maintain the effective support of all democratic elements among Bulgarian refugees abroad and to ward off efforts of the Communists to disrupt its unity, the Committee needs the moral support of the US Government even if this is expressed in an indirect way.
Although the attached letter carefully avoids the question of direct, official endorsement and support of the Bulgarian National Committee, it does imply indirectly that the Committee enjoys the moral support of the US Government.
Nothing has been expressed in the body of this letter which has not already been expressed in official policy statements of this Government or the Secretary of State.
If the Committee uses this exchange of correspondence in its radio program conducted by the National Committee for Free Europe, it is believed it would be most effective within the framework of an improved psychological warfare policy directed against the Bulgarian Communist Government. It would serve the dual purpose of encouraging the non-Communist population and increase the concern and discouragement which has become evident recently within the ranks of the Bulgarian Communists.
Possible complaints by the national committees of other Eastern European countries that they do not receive the same expression of moral support and consideration could, if necessary, be effectively countered with the truthful statement that this is not possible so long as the US maintains diplomatic relations with the present governments of these countries.7

[Charles E. Hulick, Jr.]
  1. In a memorandum of July 20 to G. Frederick Reinhardt, Deputy Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, not printed, Robert P. Joyce of the Policy Planning Staff expressed general agreement with this memorandum (611.61/7–2050). Some of Joyce’s specific comments are described more fully in footnotes 3 and 7, below.
  2. On July 4, 1950, Dr. George M. Dimitrov, President of the Bulgarian National Committee, sent the following telegram to President Truman:

    “On this glorious day of American independence allow me to offer our expression of admiration for the American championship of liberty and independence for all nations so resolutely demonstrated in the Korean crisis.”

  3. For the text of the letter sent to Dimitrov on July 27, see p. 358. It cannot be determined whether there were any differences between the draft letter originally attached to the source text and the text ultimately sent. In his memorandum of July 20 (see footnote 1, above), Joyce commented as follows:

    “1. It seems to me that this communication is too long and, in general, too much of a good thing. I think we might shake Dr. Dimitrov warmly by the hand rather than covering him with large kisses.”

  4. Not found in Department of State files.
  5. Not found in Department of State files.
  6. The reference here is to an address on tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union made by the Secretary of State at the University of California at Berkeley, California, on March 16, 1950. For the text, see Department of State Bulletin, March 27, 1950, pp. 473–478.
  7. For documentation on the severance of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria, see pp. 503 ff.
  8. In his memorandum of July 20 (see footnote 1, above), Joyce commented as follows:

    “2. I agree with Hulick that, for the reasons he adduces, we can and should be more forthcoming to the Bulgarian National Committee than we should with, for example, the Rumanian National Committee. The latter is composed mainly of personalities who are relatively unknown in Rumania. The Committee is split several ways and rent with intrigue and picayune quarreling. The Rumanians have very little potential to assist us in any psychological warfare effort.

    “3. I think we might give the Rumanians a polite bow. The nature of the Department’s stance vis-à-vis the other National Committees and Councils should depend on their composition, behavior and usefulness to us and I don’t think that it is necessary to develop a formula to be used to cover all of the National Committees indiscriminately.”