264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./2–2350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary


88. Urtel 140, Feb 23. Dept will transmit shortly reply to Hung note.1 We shall not withdraw personnel named in Vogeler trial until officially designated PNG, at which time we shall have no alternative but to do so.

In meantime we are considering and discussing with Defense Dept best means meeting situation created by demand for reduction size our mission. Experience Rum Bulg has demonstrated Commie Govts can force reduction in size by refusal visas Amers and by persecution local employees. Ultimate end this process, if unchecked, is either crippling work mission or break in diplomatic relations. Since we do not desire break relations with satellites unless operation mission becomes impossible, we are proposing in Rum to reduce table of organization US personnel, including Service attachés, from approximately [Page 993] fifty to approximately thirty if Rum Gov will accept latter figure and provide assurances visas will be issued promptly for necessary replacements.2

We contemplate similar procedure in Hung in belief there is more likelihood mission will be able to continue to operate without undue interference, at least temporarily, if substantially reduced than if we make clearly futile attempt to maintain present size. You are therefore requested to submit urgently new recommendations (urdes 1108 Dec 18 and Dept A–18 Jan 313) as to revised TO for streamlined operation designed to accomplish our essential objectives with smallest possible numbers. Service attachés being separately queried by Defense but we wld appreciate your comment on their needs in relation to those of Legation as a whole.

Your recommendations also requested as to feasible but substantial reduction in alien staff. Insofar as their safety and welfare are concerned, we are inclined to feel that they may under present circumstances be less vulnerable divorced from Legation than attached to it and that they may more easily be absorbed into Hung community now than after they have been subjected to further public abuse and very probably persecution.4

We recognize program sketched above is most unsatisfactory and merely lesser of two evils. We believe however it is worth attempt, which we fully realize may fail, to continue operations throughout satellites on reduced scale rather than be forced out altogether.

  1. For the “reply” under reference here as eventually delivered, see the note of March 4 from the Legation to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, p. 995; regarding the Hungarian note, the text of which was transmitted in the referenced telegram, see footnote 1, p. 996.
  2. See the note of March 14 from Minister Schoenfeld to Romanian Foreign Minister Pauker, p. 1055.
  3. Neither printed.
  4. Telegram 115, March 10, to Budapest, not printed, stated that the Hungarian Government was obviously determined to make the local employees of the Legation in Budapest a major target of propaganda and persecution. In order to avoid involving the Legation in vain and humiliating protective efforts which could only accelerate the undesirable trend toward a total break in diplomatic relations, the Department asked the Legation to reduce its local staff sharply during the coming weeks (124.643/3–1050).