No. 724


Memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Bonbright) to the Secretary of State 1


Subject: Proposed restrictions on the travel of Hungarian Legation personnel in the US


The Hungarian Government has imposed restrictions, effective January 22, on the travel of all foreign diplomatic personnel in Budapest, except by permit, beyond an area bounded by a perimeter 35 kilometers (18 miles) from the center of Budapest.2 In accordance with the policy recently approved by the Intelligence Advisory [Page 1442] Committee (Tab A3) we propose to institute immediately equivalent restrictions on the movement of Hungarian Legation personnel here. Similar counter restrictions have been in effect against the Rumanian Legation since May 1950.4 We have informed the British and French of our proposed action and have received indications that they will probably take similar steps against Hungarian official personnel in London and Paris.5


That you approve the attached note (Tab B) to the Hungarian Legation and its release to the press after delivery.6


EUR, L, CON, R, S/S–PR, and the Department of Defense concur in our proposed action. Our Embassies in London, Paris, and Moscow and our Legation in Budapest also concur.

  1. Drafted by McKisson (EUR/EE) and apparently concurred in by Higgs and Campbell (EUR/EE). Approved by Secretary Acheson.
  2. The U.S. Legation was informed of the restrictions imposed upon the travel of all foreign diplomatic personnel in Budapest in a Hungarian Foreign Ministry note of January 19, the translated text of which was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 346, from Budapest, January 19. (601.6411/1–2051)
  3. Tab A was a copy of circular airgram of December 14, 1950, on “U.S. Policy Toward Soviet and Satellite Representatives in the U.S.” For text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 60.
  4. For documentation on the counterrestrictions against the Romanian Legation, see ibid., pp. 1063 ff.
  5. Documentation on the exchanges with the British and the French is in file 601.6411.
  6. The note included as Tab B to this memorandum was delivered to the Hungarian Minister in Washington on January 29. It informed the Minister that effective immediately, members of the Hungarian diplomatic mission in the United States, Hungarian employees of the mission, and dependents of those persons, were prohibited from staying or traveling beyond an area bounded by a perimeter fixed at 18 miles from the White House, without special permission. For text of the note together with a brief explanatory statement by the Department of State, both of which were released to the press on January 29, see Department of State Bulletin, February 12, 1951, pp. 261–262.