103. Telegram From the Legation in Hungary to the Department of State1

Unnumbered. Legation considers earliest and highest level statement by US Government urgently required by present situation Hungary,2 and suggests text along following lines:

The United States considers the fight in Hungary as renewed expression intense desire freedom long held by Hungarian people. This fight is new evidence their willingness give their lives this end, as on another famous occasion Hungary’s fight for liberty against Russian troops.

The demands reportedly made by students and populace clearly fall within the framework of those human rights to which every free people entitled.

US considers intervention Soviet forces and ruthless killing unarmed Hungarians as yet another example of continuing occupation Hungary by alien and enemy forces for their own purposes and employment these troops to shoot down Hungarian people breaks every moral law and demonstrates that Hungary is to Soviet Russia merely a colonial possession, the demand of whose people for democratic liberty warrants the use of naked force.

What has happened in Hungary amounts to armed aggression by army of one power against people of another. United States and world await outcome with intense interest. End statement.

We also strongly recommend that urgent consideration be given to diplomatic protest to Soviet and Hungarian Governments within matter of day or two on continuing presence Soviet troops. We believe this protest should not be based on legalistic grounds (which we consider weak) but on brazen occupation nature troop stationments both before and after signing Austrian peace treaty and Warsaw Pact. Fact that functions and strength these troops have not changed substantially during past decade, as well as present use, gives ample basis, we believe, for protest.

We believe such protest most urgently called for at present moment, when virtually every Hungarian of scores spoken to in past 24 hours have demanded “Give us arms”, “Give us diplomatic assistance”, “What is America going to do for us in this hour?”

Message unsigned
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 764.00/10–2456. Confidential; Niact.
  2. The Soviet military incursion, which took place at 4:30 a.m., October 24, was reported in telegram 156 from Budapest, October 24. The telegram also reported that Nagy had allegedly requested the assistance of the Soviet troops. (Ibid.)