264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./5–2450: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary 1


227. Ur 325 May 16 and 324 May 15.2 Suggest reply on gen license 32a and comments re VOA Munich broadcast be communicated orally Hung FonOff, though, shld Hungs insist on written statements, you are authorized submit aide-mémoires.3

Releases under 32A probably were negligible, but reinstatement wholly impracticable in existing polit circumstances and wld invite public criticism Dept, particularly by Amer claimants. It wld be equally out of question reinstate 32A either for Hung funds alone or for funds of all three satellites. You are accordingly requested base reply to Hungs on pts previously outlined Dept 180 Apr 214 under Item 3 and add that revocation 32A was in no sense retaliatory step or in any way related Vogeler case; that action had been under consideration for many months and affected Bulg and Rum as well as Hung; and that sole purpose was to conserve blocked funds here which US Govt, in exercise rights under Art 29 of Peace Treaty, might later wish apply towards satisfaction Amer claims.5

For urinfo only Fr acquiesced VOA Munich use 1196 KC but agreement was not formalized. Copenhagen Plan6 assigns Fr Zone Ger 1196 KC with 70 KW power. Under terms Copenhagen Plan Budapest on 1187 KC wld have substantially area of 42 miles However, such area is cut to 22 miles by VOA Munich use 1196 KC with more than double Copenhagen power. Frequency 1195 KC was assigned Ger by Lucerne Convention 1933 and has been in continuing use in Ger since that date. This frequency was taken from Ger by Copenhagen Broadcasting Conference although Ger not represented Copenhagen and unanimous consent four occupying powers not obtained for reallocation Ger frequencies. In view foregoing, consider unwise engage in debate with Hungs on technical aspects this question and suggest you limit further statement to FonOff along fol lines:

[Page 1011]

Begin US did not accept Copenhagen Plan but instead made declaration it not prepared implement plan. However, in effort cooperate other Eur nations fullest possible extent, Munich station shifted from 1195 to 1196 KC Mar 15 to conform with Copenhagen Plan channel system and thereby minimize interference to stations on adjacent channels. Measurements taken indicate Budapest transmitter not generally operating on its assigned frequency of 1187 KC. Suggest Hung Govt review standard technical procedures for holding transmitter on precise frequency and for holding modulation within 100% limit to assist in alleviation interference problem annoying to both Govts End.7

Consider it advisable that you comply, if you have not already done so, with Berei’s request (ur 324 Para 5) for informal memo giving figures on reduction Leg staff to date. However, unless question is raised again by Hungs, suggest you endeavor avoid further discussion Radio Bulletin for time being and, in this connection, you shld feel free omit from Bulletin, pending outcome present negots, any items which in ur judgment might jeopardize chances Vogeler’s release.

Dept perceives only 3 alternatives re reply to Hung Govt on extradition alleged war criminals (ur 331 May 188 and previous): (1) further delay reply pending outcome negots re Vogeler’s release; (2) notification of denial requests without explanation; and (3) notification re denial requests with accompanying statement US Govt’s attitude toward such requests. Denial of extradition request without explanation wld probably provoke Hung Govt and quite possible react unfavorably on our present efforts obtain Vogeler’s release. Rejection of requests accompanied by statement of US position probably wld have even more unfavorable effect since such statement cld hardly avoid pointed reference to Hung’s systematic violations human rights, perversion of Hung courts, rptd fabrication of evidence in past trials, and other abuses and practices resulting in denial of justice, which preclude any confidence in existing Hung judicial system under Commie control. In these circumstances, it is our view that first alternative of delaying reply pending decision Vogeler case is least objectionable course. Meanwhile, apart from foregoing, Dept is preparing statement US position for use in later reply to Hung requests for surrender alleged war criminals and in due course will forward draft Frankfort and Budapest for concurrence.

  1. This telegram was repeated to London, Vienna, and Frankfort.
  2. Telegram 324 is printed, p. 1007; regarding telegram 325, not printed, see footnote 5, thereto.
  3. Regarding Minister Davis’ presentation to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry of the views authorized in this message, see footnote 3, supra.
  4. Ante, p. 1003.
  5. A copy of the text of the Legation’s aide-mémoire of May 26, presenting the views authorized in this paragraph and delivered to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry that day, was transmitted to the Department of State as enclosure 5 to despatch 549, May 26, from Budapest, not printed (264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./5–2650).
  6. The reference here is to the European radio frequency assignment plan developed at the European Regional Broadcasting Conference, held in Copenhagen, June 25–September 15, 1948. United States occupation authorities in Germany were not formally represented at the conference.
  7. A copy of the text of the Legation’s aide-mémoire of May 26, delivered to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry that day, setting forth the views authorized here, was transmitted to the Department of State as enclosure 4 to despatch 549 (see footnote 5, above).
  8. Not printed; it reported that the Hungarian Government had renewed one of several unanswered requests for the extradition of alleged Hungarian war criminals. Minister Davis feared that further delay in answering might prove embarrassing in connection with the current Vogeler negotiations (662.0026/5–4850).