120.4351/12–2251: Telegram

No. 2
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Austria1


1720. In view developments case US airmen in Hung2 Dept does not think necessary call together urgent meeting chiefs of mission suggested Vienna’s 2128 Dec 22 rptd London 127, Paris 219, Moscow 75, Bonn 36, Rome 104, Belgrade 53, Budapest 20, Praha 27, Warsaw 23.3 However, Dept believes gen problems US relations with satellites highlighted by recent Hung action shld be considered by such a meeting at appropriate time, preferably early in 1952. Date and precise composition of meeting can be determined later.

Review of basic policy toward satellites wld be principal agenda item, along with subsidiary problem protection US officials and other natls in EE. Meanwhile Dept is considering what further measures may be taken against Hung in retaliation for Hung conduct recent plane incident. Wld appreciate from each mission comments (already recd from Vienna and Warsaw4).

  1. Drafted by Campbell and cleared with Bonbright and Perkins. Repeated for information to Moscow, Warsaw, Praha, Belgrade, Paris, Rome, Budapest, Bucharest, HICOG Bonn, and London.
  2. On Dec. 28, 1951, the Hungarian Government released four American fliers who had been held in custody since their plane had been shot down over Hungarian territory on Nov. 19. For documentation concerning this incident and the U.S. response to it, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 2, pp. 1468 ff.
  3. This telegram recommended the convening of an East European Chiefs of Mission meeting as soon as possible to consider the crisis resulting from the Hungarian treatment of the air crew and the Czechoslovak treatment of Oatis. (120.4351/12–2251)
  4. The comments received from Vienna were in telegram 2128; those from Warsaw in telegram 449, Dec. 24. (120.4351/12–2251 and 611.60/12–2451, respectively) Regarding additional replies, see footnote 1, infra.