511.644/4–1150: Telegram

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


253. Berei summoned me Foreign Office today and with Sik1 present said Hungarian Government “inclined” accept “proposal” I had made Rakosi re Vogeler.2 This “proposal” had been based on statement which subsequently fell to ground. However, sharing desire I had frequently expressed improve Hungarian-American relations, would like know what US prepared do re various matters in dispute between us. Mentioned specifically Hungarian consulates, “freezing assets”,3 VOA interference with Hungarian station (Legtel 229, March 284) and restitution Hungarian property Germany.

I replied unable answer officially pending instruction but would observe believe possible reach satisfactory solution many problems by frank informal discussion, for example, re consulates we had closed because refusal Hungarians permit our consul function under provisions [Page 1003] consular treaty as we interpret them. Hungarians have made different interpretation. Perhaps we could reach mutually agreeable definition consular rights on basis which consulates could function both countries. Other matters could be made subject similar treatment.

Berei replied wished reemphasize Hungarian Government “inclined” comply our Vogeler proposal but wished to hear concrete offers. I had mentioned only further discussions. Understood I could say no more without consultation Department.

His reference several times to consulates suggest Hungarians attribute considerable importance possibly because prestige value.

Full memorandum pouch twelfth.5 Atmosphere was cordial and presence Sik may be significant in view his friendly attitude to MA at interview last week and subsequently on telephone re return Hungarian defector plane from Austria. On both occasions Sik expressed appreciation our action and wished all points at issue between us could best be settled same friendly basis. Without illusions basic and continuing unfriendliness regime, consider possible this approach indicates new line temporarily at least of which we might take advantage by some quick concessions, e.g., VOA wave length, consulates, freezing.

Sent Department 253, repeated London 61.

  1. Endre Sik, Head of the Political Department of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry; Minister in the United States until August 1949.
  2. See telegram 224, March 27, from Budapest, p. 999.
  3. Regarding the “freezing” of Hungarian assets, see footnote 3, infra.
  4. Not printed. It reported that the Hungarian press had published a complaint from the Hungarian Radio Bureau to the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union that broadcasts by the Voice of America transmitter in Munich were interfering with the new radio wave length assigned to Budapest Radio Petofl by the Union. Broadcast monitoring by the Legation in Budapest indicated that there was a slight mutual interference between the two stations (511.644/2850).
  5. A detailed report on Minister Davis’ conversation with Hungarian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Berei was transmitted in despatch 428, April 12, from Budapest, not printed (204.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./4–4250).