264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./6–2150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary


264. Ur 396 June 19 and 401 June 20.1 Dept cannot accept Hung demands re VOA broadcasts or agree undertake negots on that subj as condition precedent release Vogeler. At same time Dept believes that, in view recent developments, most likely means of assuring [Page 1015] Vogeler’s release is to convince Hungs that it will be useless for them attempt extract further concessions from US. Fol are reasons for ur background: (1) As reported ur 391 June 162 Hungs, fol full agreement on all stipulated pts, definitely undertook proceed immed release Vogeler. If we permit injection additional issues this stage Hungs may continue raise price and negots be infinitely prolonged. (2) Our position has consistently been to offer in exchange release Vogeler withdrawal measures taken in retaliation his arrest but not to make further concessions. We can defend this position to US public and Congress but further concessions, particularly touching VOA, which is wholly extraneous Vogeler case, wld be represented as yielding to Hung blackmail. (3) Ill-informed publicity here, resulting from unfortunate Brit leak, is already creating complications which, if allowed to gain momentum over period of days, may make it extremely difficult for Dept even to go through with what has already been agreed. (4) Concessions on VOA broadcasts sufficient to satisfy Hungs wld jeopardize important VOA objectives and likelihood successful negot this issue therefore remote.

In light these considerations you shld inform FonOff orally that US Govt, which is prepared carry out all measures to which it agreed in recent negots with HunGovt, expects latter promptly carry out in good faith assurances conveyed by Berei June 16 that, full agreement having been reached, Vogeler would be promptly released.3 You shld state that US Govt cannot agree injection into negots at this stage of further Hung demands. You shld then emphasize in appropriate manner that US Govt has gone as far in agreement already reached as it is able to go and is not prepared, prior Vogeler’s release, to enter into renewed discussion subsidiary matter which, although previously considered with view to mutual clarification, has now been revived as primary question. You shld then add that fol Vogeler’s release US Govt is prepared discuss any further issues outstanding between two govts, including VOA broadcasts, with view seeking mutually satis arrangement. You shld make clear, however, that due to publicity, which US considers most unfortunate, complications may arise, despite good will of both parties, such as to render entire negots abortive. US Govt considers therefore that if HunGovt seriously intends release Vogeler, it shld do so within next few days, whereupon we shall immed carry out measures which have been agreed on our part.

  1. Neither printed. The latter telegram reported that on June 20 Hungarian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Berei had clearly intimated to Minister Davis that the Hungarian Government could not go through with the promised release of Vogeler unless the United States Government agreed to abandon Voice of America Hungarian-language broadcasts from Munich over the currently used wavelength (1196 kc) (511.644/6–2050).
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 1012.
  3. Regarding Berei’s assurances on June 16, see ibid .