160. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Romania1

161818. Subject: Czechoslovakia.


Following report sent by Ambassador Goldberg evening May 9:

“At Secretary’s request I sought out FonMin Manescu at 5:30 PM to see if he had any info or reaction to current rumors re Czechoslovakia.

Manescu said he had no info other than press reports and had not yet seen Czechs here but would later in evening. Nor had he consulted with his govt. In response his query I said I had no info other than press.

Manescu then made following personal comments which he later said he would not object to being passed on to Secretary: Manescu was very concerned over lack of denial from either Soviet or Czech official sources of current stories about Soviet troop movements. He felt that if there were no official denial from both capitals within next two hours, along lines of ‘imperialist fabrications,’ situation would be very serious. He believes if confirmed situation would raise basic question whether any EE state can pursue a policy in any way independent of USSR. He hoped that if current stories are true that US would recognize not only the degree to which interests of all EE’s are involved, but also that US interests would also be substantially prejudiced. So far as Romania is concerned Manescu believes there is no division in country or Government and they would stand against any intervention to last man.”

Please try to elicit in any possible way comments on subject without reference to report and without giving any indication knowledge your part of Manescu’s views.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Romania, Cables, Vol. 3. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Lisle and approved by Katzenbach.
  2. Beginning in 1967, the dates and transmission times of all outgoing Department of State telegrams were in six-figure date-time-groups. The “Z” refers to Greenwich mean time.