264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./6–2250: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary

top secret

270. Ur 407 and 408 June 22.1 While fully appreciating importance of exhausting every appropriate means effecting Vogeler’s release, we feel that pol considerations (Dept 264 June 212) render acceptance [Page 1017] Hung demand for abandonment VOA Hung language broadcasts from Munich as quid pro quo for Vogeler release entirely out of question.

It is our understanding, after consultation Dept experts, that shift of Hung language broadcasts to Salonika is probably technically possible, but since programs in several other Eastern Eur languages are on same wave length this wld not substantially reduce interference with Petofi. This raises serious doubts as to sincerity of motives behind Hung complaints re such interference. Moreover, we perceive no way whereby we cld agree as part present negots take such action without resultant serious loss prestige and adverse pol repercussions in US. As indicated Dept 264, it appears probable in event Vogeler’s release, even on basis previously agreed terms, that Dept wld be subjected considerable criticism on grounds of having submitted Hung blackmail. Added criticism to effect we had yielded to Hung dictation in matter affecting VOA program, a principal instrument of our policy in Eastern Eur, wld be most damaging. Acceptance Hung demand might also create dangerous precedent and encourage other Sov satellite govts attempt similar maneuvers.

Pres, who was yesterday informed by Under Sec re status Vogeler case, has expressed approval of our firm stand on basis agreement June 163 and of our refusal yield to new demands. In view considerations outlined above and in Dept 264, you are requested reiterate FonOff in most firm manner US attitude as set forth final para Dept 264 and add that this represents final US position in matter, beyond which US Govt cannot go. You may of course repeat that, after Hung Govt has carried out its commitments by releasing Vogeler, US Govt will be prepared make every effort reach mutually satis settlement this and other issues outstanding between two govts.

  1. Telegram 407 is printed supra; telegram 408 is not printed, but see footnote 4 to telegram 407.
  2. Ante, p. 1014.
  3. Regarding the agreement of June 16, see footnote 2, p. 1012.