57. Telegram From the Legation in Hungary to the Department of State 1

405. After dinner at Polish Embassy last night, Lajos Acs, second ranking Secretary Hungarian Communist Party, played 20th Congress record for my edification. Claimed ad nauseam, Commies have really changed, wish improve relations with US and settle outstanding issues. I countered with willingness explore any problem but made explicitly clear that progress toward better relations impossible until Hungarian secret police brought under control.

Gave him in presence Karpathy, Deputy Foreign Minister, and Szigeti, Anglo-American Desk Officer, substance our complaints, and when he suggested I acquaint Sik with facts, I told him that Foreign Office was fully aware of situation but had told me it powerless because secret police constitute state within state. Acs contrived appear astonished when heard of continuing police harassment after Hungarian adoption 20th Congress line and emphatically asserted he would order police to stop.

Conversation, which lasted some two hours, was tense only when I spoke of state within state. Ended with Acs again requesting me talk with Sik, which I intend do informally middle next week assuming no objection.2

Under circumstances, recommend no publicity substance proposed second note3 pending Department’s receipt full Legation report.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.64/5–556. Secret; Priority.
  2. In telegram 408 from Budapest, May 8, Ravndal reported an hour’s conversation he had with Karpathy on May 8 (Sik and Boldocsky were both out of town) in which the Hungarian Deputy Foreign Minister confided to Ravndal that he was pleased that Ravndal had raised the question of the secret police with Acs and requested an American note detailing specifics that the Legation presumed the Foreign Office would use in attempting to bring the secret police into line. (Ibid., 611.64/5–856)
  3. See Document 55.