No. 617

740.5/2–2051: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

top secret

4000. For Achilles from Barnard (Re Depto 536 Feb 202).

I. Fol characteristics common to Hung, Rum and Bulg: (1) Sov oriented Commie control now virtually complete with (a) no likelihood of effective Titoist defection; (b) increased reliability armed forces through Sov control key positions. (2) Rapid and apparently urgent buildup of regular armed forces on Sov Army pattern; Rum (205,500 as opposed 138,000 Peace Treaty limit); Bulg (188,500 as opposed 65,500 limit); Hung (70,000, PT limit, but still rising). Bulg rated strongest viewpoint morale, training, and amount Sov equipment, especially tanks. All, however, wld march against Tito if ordered. (3) In addition, all countries have paramilitary forces (prohibited by PT) whose strength is in excess of regular armed forces. (4) Socialist economies strained owing to stepped up Sov pressure and overambitious planning. Nonetheless some progress made towards industrialization at cost in living standards. Gen trend more rationing consumer goods. Collectivization still early stages but being pushed against passive peasant resistance. (5) Morale: anticommunism continues but unorganized and powerless. Organized religion largely neutralized. Capture of youth by Communism slow but perceptible.

Dissimilarities: Fact that Hung and Rum are non-Slav, and Hung a non-orthodox state creates potential problems for Sov integrators. Rum subj most intense form economic exploitation through joint Sov-Rum companies and probably most Sovietized of all satellites. Bulg, with three unfriendly borders, more exposed but since Kostov trial Kremlin agents in strong position, and in fact Bulg appears to [Page 1231] have been chosen for leading role in war of nerves against West. Also emphasis on Bulg industrialization may have been relaxed in favor agri development.

Alb conforms to pattern except as fols: geographic isolation from orbit; loyalty to Kremlin insured only by self interest Alb Commies. Reports certain Alb Commies may have inclination lead Alb party out of Kremlin camp not substantiated. Alb army 60,000 (including security forces) is poorest equipped, but is threat to Tito’s rear. Economically Alb is liability rather than asset to orbit.

On question war in spring, IAC intelligence estimate of Mar 1 is: despite continuing expansion satellite armed forces, there is no evidence of troop movements or other preparations which wld indicate an imminent attack on Yugo or Greece.

II. US policy toward Bulg, Hung, Rum and Alb may be stated as fols:

To encourage eventual replacement Sov dominated Commie regimes by independent democratic govts under which peoples those countries may develop free institutions and enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms.
To encourage such resistance by these peoples to Sov-dominated Commie regimes and Sov ideology as US and other democratic countries can effectively support.
To counteract and attack through appropriate info media Sov Communism in all its manifestations: on one hand, by exposing its false and distorted propaganda, its failures, weaknesses, aggressions, and negative character; and on other hand by clarifying principles, methods, institutions, and aims of democracy in terms both traditions and contemporary events and developments.
To sustain morale of non-Commie majority in these countries by demonstrating wherever possible continuing US concern for welfare peoples, understanding their problems, and creating confidence in Western ability and intention actively to oppose Sov expansion.
To give such support to democratic exiles from these countries and to their orgs as may be judged feasible and proper from time to time in light overall state US-Sov relations and US–satellite relations specifically; to make every effort this connection to preserve this human resource of potential leadership against day of liberation.
To endeavor to deter and thwart any suspected plans for aggression by these govts against Yugo or neighboring non-Commie states and to extend assistance in varying form and degree to such states to enable them resist threats or acts of aggression.
To exert constant pressure on Bulg, Hung, Rum and Alb Govts by all effective means available, including continued opposition UN membership of these govts and maintenance of strict controls on export strategic materials these countries; in case of Bulg, Hung and Rum, to exploit fully violations of Peace Treaty provisions re human rights and limitation of armaments by such means as publicity, treaty enforcement procedures, and UN; to apply reciprocity [Page 1232] wherever possible in treatment of Hung and Rum dipl personnel in US and to continue indefinite suspension of dipl relations with Bulg; to continue withhold recognition from Hoxha regime in Alb and to make every effort render increasingly effective geographic isolation of Alb from other Sov-dominated states in Eastern Eur.

III. Development common policy NATO countries obviously dependent on fullest exchange and discussion info re common problems and developments affecting their interests in Bulg, Hung, Rum and Alb. We are particularly interested in such issues as:

Maintenance dipl relations and reprisals for measures against diplomats.
Control of strategic exports and keeping open possibilities for special controls in certain cases.

  • [Barnard]
  • Webb
  1. Jointly drafted by Barnard of EUR and by Campbell, Recknagel, McKisson, Nickels, and Marcy of EUR/EE; cleared by WE, RA, GTI, and DRS; and approved for transmission by Bonbright. Copies were sent to Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, and Moscow.
  2. In telegram Depto 536, Ambassador Spofford reported that the North Atlantic Council Deputies had tentatively agreed on a future exchange of views on the political situation in Eastern Europe. Spofford hoped that such a discussion would afford a common background or appreciation by NATO countries of the situation “behind the Iron Curtain” and the nature and magnitude of the threat posed to the West. He requested information and material to allow his participation in the discussion. (740.5/2–2051) In addition to the telegram printed here, the Department replied to Spofford’s request with a policy statement on Czechoslovakia (A–1767 to London, Document 669), and a policy statement on Poland (A–1615 to London, Document 746).