No. 614


Memorandum of Conversations, by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Bonbright)


Subject: Violations of the Satellite Peace Treaties.

Participants: (1) Mr. C.E. Steel, Minister, British Embassy
Mr. James C. H. Bonbright, Deputy Assistant Secretary, EUR
(2) Mr. Gontran de Juniac, Counselor, French Embassy
Mr. James C. H. Bonbright, Deputy Assistant Secretary, EUR

I called in Mr. Steel of the British Embassy and Mr. de Juniac of the French Embassy separately this afternoon and handed them [Page 1224] copies of the attached Memorandum suggesting a course of action in connection with violations of the satellite peace treaties.1

I explained that the reason back of this proposal was the thought that we might want to talk about the violations of the peace treaties at the proposed meeting of the Four Foreign Ministers.2 If we did so, we felt that the Soviet representative might reply that machinery already exists for handling this type of question and that we had not used it. Our proposal would provide a counter for rejecting this type of Soviet argument if we need it.

I also explained, particularly to Mr. de Juniac, that since France was not a signatory to the satellite peace treaties his Government was not directly concerned in the proposed action but that we none the less wished to consult with them closely and get their views because of our tripartite cooperation in preparation for talks with the Russians.

Both Mr. Steel and Mr. de Juniac indicated that they would transmit the memo at once to their governments. Neither of them had any off-hand objection to raise to the proposed action.

Finally, I urged them to move as rapidly as possible since it would be desirable to send the note to the Bulgarian, Hungarian and Rumanian governments prior to the proposed preliminary talks with the Soviets in Paris on March 5.

  1. For previous documentation on U.S. efforts to achieve fulfillment of the articles of the treaties of peace with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, pp. 1 ff. For the memorandum under reference, see infra.
  2. The possible convening of a session of the Council of Foreign Ministers was the subject of the Four-Power Exploratory Talks in Paris (Conference of the Palais Rose), March–June 1951. On March 28, the U.S., British, and French representatives at these talks proposed that any conference of the Foreign Ministers examine the question of the peace treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania including the provisions on human rights and the military clauses. For documentation, see vol. iii, Part 1, pp. 1086 ff.