264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./5–1550: Telegram

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


324. Unnumbered Deptel May 11.1

Berei informed me today Hungarian Government desires withdrawal “countermeasures” for release Vogeler, viz., (1) reopening consulates, (2) cancellation “freezing” order, (3) withdrawal travel ban. (Comment. Admits “freezing” of little practical value but seems consider face-saving important. To my expressed surprise at reference to travel ban, explained these three were reprisals and want all reprisals rescinded in exchange for release.)

2. Regarding restitution, desires more precise definition our interpretation phrase “found available for restitution” and suggestion method resolve differences opinion that may arise in application thereof. (Comment. He correctly surmised probable wide divergence our, their view what is “available”.)

3. Requests written statement our precise offers regarding above information suitable eventual publication and with specific reference Vogeler case. (Comment. Clearly intended for local propaganda attempt show we acknowledge guilt by offering withdrawal reprisals.)

4. Requested, but not as condition release, enlightenment regarding VOA Munich interference. (Comment. Did not attempt explain basis Deptel 182, April 22,2 feeling more detailed statement will be more effective.)

5. Informally requested information regarding progress staff reduction and complained Radio Bulletin3 publishing “aggressive” pronouncements [Page 1008] by labor leaders, etc., regarding Hungary and Peoples’ Democracies generally. (Comment. To my figures showing planned and already partly effected reduction Americans by 47 percent, aliens by 40, his only comment was reference to Czech two-thirds demand and request for informal memorandum showing figures. May be hint future demand further cuts. Regarding Bulletin, I replied policy is print factual reports events in US.)

Full memorandum air pouch.4 Suggestions for reply in following telegram.5

Sent Department 324; repeated London 73.

  1. It was learned earlier in May that the Hungarian Supreme Court had rejected Vogeler’s appeal of his sentence. Telegram 213, May 11, to Budapest, not printed, presumably the message under reference here, requested the Legation in Hungary to ask the Hungarian Foreign Ministry regarding the meaning of the Supreme Court’s decision with specific reference to the current American-Hungarian exchanges on the Vogeler case (264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./5–1150).
  2. Not printed; in it the Department of State offered some preliminary comments on the Hungarian complaint that the Voice of America station in Munich was interfering with broadcasts from Budapest Radio petofi (511.644/4–1250).
  3. The Wireless (or Radio) Bulletin was the official news service of the Department of State. It was prepared by the Division of International Press and Publications and was transmitted daily by wireless (radio) to foreign service posts abroad. The Wireless Bulletin contained full, official texts of pronouncements by high officials of the United States Government and the Department of State, editorial opinion from leading American newspapers, and other important information. Foreign language editions were distributed in various cities by the United States Information Service.
  4. Minister Davis’ detailed memorandum of his conversation with Hungarian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Berei was transmitted in despatch 533, May 15, from Budapest, not printed (264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./5–1550)
  5. Telegram 325, May 16, from Budapest, not printed.