611.60/1–1552: Telegram

No. 3
The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Cummings) to the Department of State


1183. Deptel 468, January 9.1 Without having full knowledge many factors affecting our policy toward satellites both in general and in specific case of Hung, nevertheless, venture fol views:

Hung plane incident only latest of series provocations by Kremlin thru agency satellite govt. By contd maintenance dipl relation satellites, we make it possible Sovs to continue humiliate us in eyes its own and satellite populations at no risk USSR. Emb aware belief many persons that maintenance missions satellite capitals desirable as morale boosters for population. It seems doubtful people of Hung, however, were reassured re US by spectacle their puppet govt officials acting toward accredited US Govt reps in brazen rude manner in complete disaccord with traditional relations between govts.

Cessation dipl relations wld deprive satellite govts at least of our support their claim to independent sovereignty. Dept and missions concerned in better posit than we to assess importance continuation representation in present circumscribed conditions from standpoint polit … reporting. It wld seem likely most other functions OSR missions cld be carried on almost equally satisfactorily by protecting power. Practical absence trade relations shipping etc. and virtual impossibility protect our citizens lessen undesirability breaking relations.

In event such step were taken, we shld, of course, make clear our hope that time may come when we can again establish relations with a truly natl govt; that our action motivated by practical absorption govt by USSR.

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Dipl rupture, to have maximum effect, shld be applied to satellites individually as appropriate time arrives. Plane incident wld provide good point on which base break with Hung.

Foregoing represents views majority officers here, some of whom were inclined contrarywise prior to recent events in Hung.

This whole problem, which is course applicable beyond plane case, cld profitably be thrashed out at chiefs of mission mtg.

Dept rpt interested missions.

  1. Printed as telegram 1720 to Vienna, supra. Replies to telegram 1720 were also received from Bucharest (telegram 278, Jan. 12), advocating coordination with the British Government on supporting diplomatic immunity in Eastern Europe before convening a Chiefs of Mission meeting (120.4351/1–1252); from Warsaw (telegram 479, Jan. 12), suggesting diplomatic and economic measures to be used as leverage in Eastern Europe (120.4351/1–1252); from Belgrade (telegram 885, Jan. 12), recommending that the USSR be held responsible for all provocative actions taken by Eastern European governments (120.4351/1–1252); from Budapest (telegram 518, Jan. 14), advocating reprisals against the Soviet Union for Hungarian provocations (120.4351/1–1452); from Praha (telegram 550, Jan. 16), presenting a prospective agenda for the proposed meeting (120.4351/1–1652); and from Bonn (telegram 1393, Feb. 1), advocating joint Western European reprisal action against both the USSR and the Eastern European governments (120.4351/2–152). No replies from Paris, London, or Rome have been found in Department of State files.