U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian

[Section 3 of 19]

Special Country Policy Guidance


48. Promote increased Western contacts with Albania and encourage other Western nations to establish diplomatic missions there. When appropriate, recognize and establish U.S. diplomatic relations with Albania, subject to certain conditions, including a guarantee of correct treatment of U.S. diplomatic personnel and satisfactory settlement of the question of the validity of pre-war treaties between Albania and the United States.

49. After U.S. recognition of Albania, permit travel of U.S. tourists in Albania.


50. Seek through negotiations to re-establish diplomatic relations with Bulgaria in the near future, subject to appropriate conditions and suitable guarantees.

51. After U.S. resumption of relations with Bulgaria, permit travel of U.S. tourists in Bulgaria.


52. Expand contacts and reporting opportunities in Slovakia. Be prepared to permit reciprocal re-establishment of Czech consulates in the United States on a one-for-one basis, despite the additional opportunity thus afforded for Communist espionage and subversion in the United States.

53. Seek to stimulate nationalist feeling by such means as references in U.S. propaganda to the Ruthenian territory annexed by the USSR in 1945 and frequent references to the Soviet Union's exploitation of Czechoslovakia's uranium resources.

54. Emphasize in U.S. propaganda past and present contributions of Czechoslovak intellectuals and scientists to demonstrate that the common interests and basic orientation of these groups is toward the Free World rather than toward the USSR.


55. Continue to keep the Hungarian issue alive through diplomatic action, within the United Nations, through official and non-official U.S. media, and through the encouragement of public reactions and protests in Free World nations against repressive developments in Hungary.

56. Work toward the satisfactory integration of Hungarian refugees in the Free World through support of legislation aimed at regularizing the status of the parolees in this country and through continuing by the Escapee Program to assist in the solution of settlement problems in other nations.

57. In order to permit a substantial number of Americans to visit in Hungary, continue currently to interpret travel restrictions liberally, and for the next tourist season consider removing entirely the passport validation requirement.

58. Encourage cultural and scientific exchanges with Hungary on a case- by-case basis. Do not permit at this time the sending of large prestige attractions to the United States, the exchange of official Government delegations, or visits to the United States by leading members of the Hungarian regime.


59. Seek to exploit fully the opportunities which exist at present in Rumania because of the receptive attitude of the regime, particularly in economic and cultural relations.

Annex B/7/



General Considerations

1. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were created as independent nations after World War I. In the summer of 1940 they lost their independence by forcible incorporation into the USSR as Soviet Socialist Republics.

2. The United States condemned Soviet aggression in the Baltic States in 1940, and has consistently refused to recognize the incorporation of these States into the USSR. This policy has been publicized on appropriate occasions since 1940.

3. The Baltic States have no governments-in-exile. However, the United States has continued to recognize the diplomatic representatives of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania appointed to the United States by the last free governments of these countries. Their diplomatic establishments in the United States and in a number of foreign capitals are maintained with money released by the United States from the blocked accounts of the free governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

4. There are occasional indications that the populations of the Baltic States have not acquiesced passively in the establishment of the Soviet order. It is clear that a strong anti-Soviet sentiment still prevails, although its expression is necessarily circumscribed.

Special Policy Guidance

5. Maintain the policy of non-recognition of the incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union and avoid any steps which could reasonably be construed as de jure or de facto recognition. Continue to recognize the diplomatic missions established here by the last free governments of the Baltic States.

6. Preserve limited unofficial contacts between the peoples of the Baltic States and the West by such means as the travel of U.S. citizens to the Baltic States as tourists or for other personal reasons, or the travel of private groups such as American church representatives. Examine proposals for other non-official exchanges on a case-by-case basis, in the light of their possible effect on the policy of non- recognition as well as any possible net advantage to U.S. interests.

7. a. Encourage the circulation of American informational media in the Baltic States, and continue broadcasting services to the Baltic peoples. Design U.S. broadcasts to maintain an interest on the part of the Baltic peoples in the United States and the West generally, and in existing conditions and current developments in the Free World.

b. Avoid making public statements which could reasonably be interpreted as inciting the Baltic peoples to open revolt or indicating that this country is prepared to resort to force to eliminate Soviet domination.

c. Discourage the use of U.S. Government broadcast facilities to convey messages of exiled leaders, but permit the diplomatic represent-atives of the Baltic States in the United States to send messages on anniversaries and other special occasions, provided that the content accords with U.S. policy.

d. On appropriate occasions, publicly reiterate the U.S. policy of non- recognition of the incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union, to demonstrate that the United States remains conscious of the plight of the Baltic peoples and still does not condone aggression against the smaller nations.


/8/Top Secret.

[1 page of source text not declassified]

7. Editorial Note

On June 16, Radio Moscow announced that former Hungarian Premier Imre Nagy, General Pal Maleter, and other Hungarian officials had been executed for their actions during the Hungarian rebellion of October - November 1956.

The next day, the Department of State issued a statement condemning the executions and asserting that "the Soviet Union and the Soviet-imposed regime in Hungary have once more violated every principle of decency and must stand in judgment before the conscience of mankind." At his press conference that day, Secretary of State Dulles also strongly condemned the executions. For texts of the Department of State statement and the transcript of Dulles' press conference, see Department of State Bulletin, July 7, 1958, pages 6 - 10.

At 4:15 p.m. on June 17, Secretary Dulles spoke on the telephone with Senator William F. Knowland about the executions. According to a memorandum of their conversation, the following exchange took place:

"The Sec returned the call and K said there was quite a considerable discussion and it was bipartisan in nature today on the Hungarian situation--he was wondering what steps we could take in the UN or otherwise to show some disapproval of this kind of situation. They agreed it is shocking. K said he does not see how they can do business with the Kadar regime. The Sec said we have not recognized it--K said they are sitting in at the UN. The Sec said he hit it pretty hard at press conf but that is not the same as doing something at the UN. We are not treating it in any casual way and are thinking of other things. K said the Sec might have someone in State look over the Record today." (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations)

The execution of Imre Nagy and Pal Maleter was the subject of discussion at the 104th meeting of the Operation Coordinating Board's Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems held at the Department of State at 3 p.m. on June 17. Members of the committee participating in the meeting were Barrett M. Reed and William S. Peterson of the U.S. Information Agency, a representative of the Central Intelligence Agency, Manning H. Williams of the Operations Coordinating Board's Staff, and Henry P. Leverich, Director of the Department of State's Office of Eastern European Affairs, who served as Acting Chairman. Williams' memorandum of the discussion at the meeting reads as follows:

"Mr. Leverich said this announcement, coming at the same time as the publication in Moscow of Khrushchev's letter to the President of June 11, was a slap in the face to the United States. The question now is, in what degree and how do we react? One way, of course, is through our information media, which would give the affair heavy and continued play. Another way would be through the UN.

"One proposal being considered by the State Department was the reconvening of the Special Committee on Hungary to produce an addendum to their report demanding details of the trial, etc., and automatically putting the Hungarian item on the General Assembly agenda for September. A special session of the UN is being considered, but it is not likely that the United States will call for one at this time. It was agreed that the Special Committee Report on Hungary was a tremendous reservoir of material available for immediate use.

"Mr. Leverich also outlined the following steps that were being taken:

"a. Reference to the executions was being written into the draft replies to Khrushchev's letter of June 11 and his letter on trade.

"b. Belgrade was being asked to supply new material on Nagy's arrest and execution from Yugoslav sources; it was expected that the Yugoslavs would now open up with new revelations.

"c. A statement for the President to make at the opening of his press conference Wednesday was being drafted.

"d. Ambassador Lodge had prepared a statement which had been cleared in the Department and would be coming out soon.

"e. Suggestions from other agencies would be welcomed; also suggestions as to how EE or EUR could help other agencies.

"Mr. Cox remarked that Khrushchev's remarks on East Europe in the June 11 letter left him wide open on the executions. Mr. Cox said the executions should be referred to as `Soviet murders,' since there was no indication of even the semblance of a free trial. The label of barbaric Stalinism should be pinned on them.

"Mr. Cox said it was also interesting that the Communists had shifted from blaming `fascist Horthyites' for the Hungarian uprising and now were admitting that revisionism and national communism were at the center of the trouble. They had made it a matter of Communists versus Communists. Now they were putting the blame on Nagy, the Yugoslavs, and Malenkov.

"Mr. Reed asked about the Secretary's reference to this as another step in a reversion toward the brutal terrorist methods which prevailed under Stalin. He felt this should be kept in context, and that no major reappraisal of Moscow policy should be read into it. Mr. Leverich agreed.

"Mr. Reed also cautioned against seeming to use the executions as an excuse for a negative answer on trade. That was a question which should be handled on its own merits. Mr. Leverich felt that the executions could be referred to in the trade reply, but agreed that cautious handling was required in this instance.

"Mr. Cox suggested that for Asian audiences it would be useful to play up the fact that the Chinese Communists had taken the lead in attacking Nagy and more recently Tito. There was also convincing evidence that what the Yugoslavs have said recently about the Chinese being prepared to lose 300 million persons in a war because there would still be 300 million left was not something the Yugoslavs had dreamed up.

"Mr. McFadden pointed out that the Soviet violation of asylum was a very important issue in many parts of the world, especially Latin America. Mr. Stefan felt that Soviet double-dealing in arresting Maleter after inviting him to negotiate was worth stressing to all areas. Mr. Peterson suggested that the International Commission of Jurists make a statement on the lack of a fair trial for those executed." (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1953 - 58)

For text of President Eisenhower's comments on June 18 regarding the executions, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1958, page 480. For text of Khrushchev's letter of June 11 to Eisenhower, see Department of State Bulletin, July 21, 1958, pages 96 - 101.

8. Memorandum of Discussion at the 369th Meeting of the National Security Council

Washington, June 19, 1958.

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda item 1.]

2. U.S. Policy Toward the Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe (NSC 5811; Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated May 13 and 21, 1958; NSC Action No. 1914; NSC 5811/1)/1/

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Gleason on June 20.

/1/Regarding NSC 5811 and the May 13 and 21 memoranda, see footnote 1, Document 5. Regarding NSC Action No. 1914, see footnote 5, Document 5. NSC 5811/1 is printed as Document 6.

In briefing the Council General Cutler reminded the members that the paragraph in this policy (NSC 5811/1), relating to a proposal to normalize U.S. trade in non-strategic goods with the Soviet-dominated nations, had not been adopted by the Council but had been referred for further consideration by the President to the Secretary of State together with Annex C of the paper which spelled out in greater detail proposals by the Department of Commerce for stimulating American businessmen to engage in non-strategic trade with the Soviet satellites. The Secretary of State was now ready to inform the Council of the results of his further review of Paragraph 40 and Annex C. In the course of General Cutler's briefing, the President took his place at the table as did Mr. Walter Williams representing the Secretary of Commerce. (A copy of General Cutler's briefing note is filed in the Minutes of the Meeting and another is attached to this memorandum)./2/

/2/Not printed.

Secretary Dulles informed the Council that he was not at present in a position which would permit him to favor the proposal of the Department of Commerce to launch a considerable campaign designed to interest U.S. businessmen in trade with the satellite nations. In recent weeks the situation of the Soviet satellites had become so ambiguous that it now seemed wise to keep our trade program with them very closely under Washington policy control so that we could turn on or off the flow of trade with the satellites as circumstances dictated. We would not be in a position to regulate such trade if we had told our businessmen in advance to go ahead and engage in extensive trade with the Soviet- dominated states.

In explanation of his change of view, Secretary Dulles pointed out the likelihood that the Soviet Union was in the midst of reverting to the old Stalinist policy of harsh control of the Soviet satellites. This development was illustrated by the recent execution of the leaders of the Hungarian revolt. In connection with the latter event, said Secretary Dulles, the Yugoslav Ambassador had commented to him only yesterday that these executions in Budapest did not constitute the epilogue to the Hungarian revolt, but rather the prologue to something else./3/ Thus, if the satellites are going to be even more completely dominated by the Soviet Union, this would not be an appropriate time for the U.S. to inaugurate and endorse a policy of increasing the volume of trade between the U.S. and the satellites.

/3/A memorandum of the conversation between Dulles and the Yugoslav Ambassador is in Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199.

Secretary Dulles went on to observe that this matter of U.S. trade with the satellites was related to Khrushchev's proposal for greatly increased trade between the U.S. and the Soviet Union itself. In view of the present mood of the Soviet rulers, Secretary Dulles thought it would be idle to imagine that the U.S. could have one kind of policy with respect to U.S. trade with the U.S.S.R. and and another kind of policy for our trade with the Soviet satellites. Accordingly, Secretary Dulles suggested that it would be best for the Council to defer any decision on this matter until the present trend of the Kremlin's policies towards the satellites was more fully developed and clarified. At the moment the Kremlin is taking a much tougher line and if we were to countenance a great surge of U.S. trade with the satellites, it might look as though this was our response to the Kremlin's tougher line.

In the light of the Secretary's views, General Cutler suggested the Council action on Paragraph 40 and Annex C be deferred until perhaps next September when the Council could again look at the problem.

The President then stated with great emphasis that he had certain views on this subject which he wished to make known at this time. He insisted that we should do all we can to avoid Congressional strait jackets on trade with these satellite states. After all, the Executive Branch had very competent advice on this subject from several different agencies-- the CFEP, the State Department, and the Department of Commerce. What we required was flexibility to study and to act on the problem of trade with the satellites on a case by case basis. The Soviets were in a position of being able to change their trade policies towards the satellites or anyone else by simply turning on or off the spigot. We in the U.S. certainly needed sufficient flexibility to permit us to maneuver. The existence of this necessary flexibility was jeopardized by the attitude of Congress in wishing to legislate against any trade with any Communist state.

In response to the views suggested by the Secretary of State and the President, General Cutler suggested that the language in the old Paragraph 40 be amended so that our encouragement of trade with the Soviet satellites should be implemented on a case by case basis and any increase to have the approval of the Secretary of State. The President said he agreed with the wisdom of General Cutler's proposal but insisted that we could not encourage increased trade on even a case by case basis if the Congress insisted on legislation which forbade all trade with a Communist state.

General Cutler reminded the President that the kind of trade referred to in Paragraph 40 was trade in non-strategic goods and that there was no legislation which forbade the U.S. to engage in such trade even with Communist or Communist-dominated nations. Secretary Williams expressed agreement with General Cutler's statement.

The President again complained about the attitude of Congress toward U.S. trade with Communist nations. He cited as an example the difficulties we encountered when the Danes proposed to acquire much- needed coal from Poland in return for building tankers for Poland. However, Secretary Dulles pointed out that in the instance the President cited, we had run afoul of the Battle Act/4/ which applied to Denmark. The present paragraph, he again pointed out, dealt only with trade in non-strategic goods. He added that he did not object to General Cutler's proposals for amending the old Paragraph 40 but would also change one other phrase in that paragraph. The President then agreed to this proposed Council action. General Cutler made one further suggestion to put the bee on the CFEP rather than on the Secretary of State for approval of any increase in the volume of U.S. trade with any of the Soviet-dominated states.

/4/Reference is to the Mutual Defense Assistance Control Act of 1951 (P.L. 213), sponsored by Congressman Laurie C. Battle of Alabama and enacted October 26, 1951. It provided for the suspension of U.S. economic aid to nations supplying strategic materials to Communist countries. For text, see 65 Stat. 644.

General Cutler then suggested that the Council hear the views of the Department of Commerce on this subject. Secretary Williams said he would be happy to describe the views that had been current in his department on this subject. He said that he grasped the delicacy of the problem as it had been described by Secretary Dulles but Commerce had felt that if it were to be our policy to go ahead and normalize U.S. trade with the Soviet-dominated nations, some agency in the government had to engineer and promote such trade by providing guidance and the like to American businessmen. Commerce was the obvious agency to handle trade relations, subject only to a policy veto by the Secretary of State on political grounds. Apparently, however, these views of the Commerce Department were no longer applicable if, as now seems to be the case, the Administration did not wish to generate any considerable increase in U.S. trade with the Soviet-dominated nations generally. Secretary Dulles confirmed Secretary Williams' understanding of his changed position.

At this point the President changed the subject by turning to Mr. Allen Dulles and asking him if he knew when Premier Nagy had actually been executed. Mr. Dulles replied that to the best of their knowledge, it had happened quite recently. The President said that it had been his guess that Nagy had been executed five or six months ago. Mr. Dulles replied that his people in CIA had also thought of this possibility but that the best information at present was that the decision to try Nagy had been made at the recent Moscow Conference./5/ The trial had actually begun at the end of May and lasted a fortnight. The President commented that if this were indeed the case, it made the affair look all the more ominous.

The National Security Council:/6/

/5/Presumably a reference to the meetings in Moscow of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), May 20 - 23, and the Warsaw Pact's Consultative Committee, May 24.

/6/Paragraphs a - b and the Note that follows constitute NSC Action No. 1927. (Department of State, S/S - NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)

a. Discussed an oral report by the Secretary of State on the foreign policy implications of expanding non-strategic trade with the Soviet- dominated nations for primarily political purposes (paragraph 40 and Annex C of NSC 5811), prepared pursuant to NSC Action No. 1914 - b - (3).

b. Adopted, for insertion in NSC 5811/1, the following revision of paragraph 40 of NSC 5811 (while agreeing that Annex C of NSC 5811 should not be adopted for inclusion in NSC 5811/1);

"40. On a case-by-case basis as approved by the Council on Foreign Economic Policy, seek to establish between the United States and the dominated nations with which the United States has diplomatic relations, more normal economic relations thereby facilitating a gradual expansion of trade--consistent with `Basic National Security Policy' (NSC 5810/1)/7/ and `U.S Economic Defense Policy' (NSC 5704/3)*--when it would be a means of projecting influence and lessening the dominated nations' economic ties with and dependence on the Soviet Union.

/7/NSC 5810/1, "Basic National Security Policy," May 5, 1958, is scheduled for publication in volume III.

"*NSC Action No. 1865 - c directed the review of this policy; cf. NSC 5810/1, paragraph 37."

Note: The revision of paragraph 40 in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently circulated for insertion in all copies of NSC 5811/1.

3. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security

As his first topic, the Director of Central Intelligence proceeded further to describe the trials and executions of the leaders of the Hungarian revolt. It seemed likely that Nagy had been hanged in Budapest on the night of June 16. General Maleter had been tried before a military tribunal. The civilian victims had been tried in a civilian court. Mr. Allen Dulles suggested that the trials were primarily designed as a move against Tito but one of the results had been a considerable weakening of Kadar's position.

Secretary Dulles carefully inquired as to the reliability of the statement of the Director of Central Intelligence that the trials and the executions of the Hungarian leaders had been prescribed by Moscow. Mr. Allen Dulles repeated his view that while the information on this subject came from a journalist in a position to know and not from any official statement by the Soviet or Hungarian Governments, he nevertheless believed that it was the truth. Moreover, Mr. Allen Dulles believed that we should play up very hard the fact that the executions were ordered by Moscow. Secretary Dulles commented that the reaction in Europe to these executions had been very strong.

Mr. Allen Dulles then went on to sketch in the background of these trials and what the victims had done during the course of the Hungarian Revolution and afterwards. He pointed out that the Yugoslavs had received written assurance of respect for the asylum they had provided Nagy and others in the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest.

Mr. Allen Dulles reiterated his conviction that the signal for the executions had almost certainly come from Moscow. The Soviets must certainly have weighed the unfavorable world reaction which these executions would stimulate. Mr. Allen Dulles believed that the executions were intended as warnings first to Tito and thereafter to Gomulka. He thought it likely that in the sequel Kadar would drop out of the political picture quite soon. The reaction of the Hungarian people had been one of stunned and shocked silence.

Secretary Dulles said that he understood that Mr. Allen Dulles was now engaged in a study with State Department officials and CIA people to try to grasp the meaning of all these concurrent developments in the Soviet Bloc./8/ Mr. Allen Dulles replied in the affirmative.

/8/Presumably a reference to SNIE 11 - 8 - 58, Document 48.

The Director of Central Intelligence next pointed out that there had apparently been called a sudden meeting in Moscow of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. This meeting was believed still to be going on and Mr. Dulles thought it of great significance. None of the most eminent Soviet leaders had appeared in public since June 12 for the reason that they were probably getting ready for this meeting.

Mr. Dulles speculated that the Central Committee meeting might deal with the new Seven Year Plan which was supposed to be unveiled before next July 1. The Central Committee meeting might also debate Khrushchev's programs for the reorganization of Soviet industry and of Soviet agriculture. Khrushchev probably realizes that he is somewhat under fire with respect to both of these programs. There have been accusations that in supporting these programs Khrushchev is not behaving as an orthodox Marxist-Leninist. The Committee might also discuss problems in connection with the summit meeting and the implications of the executions in Hungary. There was even the possibility of a further purge such as that which had occurred last June.

/9/ Mr. Dulles thought we would know more in a few days and again pointed out that CIA officials were studying with officials from State and other departments the meaning and significance of all these inter- related developments in the Soviet Bloc. He felt that it was of special importance to watch what happened in Poland.

/9/Reference is to the announcement on July 3, 1957, by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the dismissal from the Presidium the previous month of the "anti-party" group, which included Malenkov and Molotov among others.

Secretary Dulles commented that a great many important things seemed to be going on concurrently in the Soviet Bloc. Taken together they seemed to point to a change in Soviet policy. On the other hand it was not easy to understand why the Soviets were proposing significant policy changes because normally one does not change policies unless things were actually going badly.

[Here follow the remainder of the briefing and the remaining agenda items.]

S. Everett Gleason

9. Draft Paper Prepared by N. Spencer Barnes of the Policy Planning Staff

Washington, June 27, 1958.



A recent discussion/1/ of long-term trends in the Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe produced substantial agreement on the nature and direction of expected trends, but differences as to their strength.

//Source: Department of State, PPS Files: Lot 67 D 548, Europe (East). Confidential. According to a handwritten note on the source text, this subject was discussed at the Policy Planning Staff meetings on May 25 and July 7. Very brief summaries of the discussion at these meetings are ibid., Meetings. This draft paper and another draft paper by Barnes, dated November 7, 1957, entitled "Considerations of US Policy Toward the Communist States of Eastern Europe Exclusive of the USSR," were combined and condensed by Barnes to produce a revised paper printed as Document 11.

/1/Presumably a reference to the discussion at the Policy Planning Staff meeting of May 25.

Area of Agreement:

It was generally agreed that in the foreseeable future--probably at least over the next ten years--no internal developments were likely to change the basic characteristics of the present political, economic and social structures in the Soviet-dominated states of Eastern Europe. Such changes were not anticipated, therefore, unless there should be profound evolutionary developments in the Soviet Union or comprehensive settlements of major international problems. Neither of the latter were within the scope of this discussion.

It was further agreed that there would be a tendency toward consolidation and strengthening of both regimes and system. This would mean in practice, some ten years or more from today and other things being equal, that:

a) Satellite regimes would still be totalitarian, one-party Communist governments; self-perpetuating without benefit of free elections; accepting the hegemony of Moscow to the extent of taking instructions on basic domestic and foreign policy, though exercising a certain leeway in minor decisions and implementation; protected from external aggression or popular revolt first by the presence or threat of Soviet armed force and secondly by internal police controls; with a centralized, planned, government-controlled and largely government-owned economy. In sum, the situation would be very similar in kind to that at pres-ent.

b) It would also mean that this type of system would be more firmly entrenched than it is today, in that the masses would accept it more readily, there would be less popular antagonism toward it and less underlying resistance to it.

In support of this forecast, it was believed (assuming the Soviet state and Soviet motivations unchanged) that the following major influences would act in the direction indicated:

a) In the absence of internal disorders--which would in fact be inhibited by Soviet armed force and readiness to use it--the simple passage of time would condition peoples to perpetuation of the regime, and favor their judgment to it.

b) The economic situation would gradually, if slowly, improve and so reduce dissatisfaction.

c) The Soviets would gradually accord more freedom of action to the local regimes, thus making Soviet control less conspicuous even if ultimately determinant, which would reduce popular dissatisfaction stemming from nationalism.

d) Continuous indoctrination would finally have some effect, particularly on youth who would have no first-hand experience with other ways of life.

Disagreement on Emphasis:

The existence of such trends was generally agreed on, as well as their tendency to strengthen regimes and reduce popular dissatisfaction. There was, however, a noticeable difference of opinion as to how pronounced the effects would be. One view was that the cumulative impact would be very considerable. No one would go quite so far as to predict that, even after ten or twenty years, in the hypothetical event that Soviet pressures were eliminated, the local Communist regimes would be firmly enough entrenched to maintain themselves and their system through indigenous controls alone. But an impression was given that this condition might be approached; and that the ability of regimes to resist popular pressures directed toward change would be much stronger than at present.

The other view was that not one of the influences listed, or even all combined, would be much more than marginal; and that, even after ten or more years of enforced stability, if the support of Soviet armed force should for one reason or another be withdrawn, popular pressures would force basic changes on the regimes. It was felt that such changes would come just as surely, and not very much more slowly than if the hypothetical situation were to develop in 1958.

Arguments supporting this view rested largely on the following considerations:

a) It is very doubtful whether popular disapproval of a Communist system--whether expressed with violence as in Hungary or sublimated as in Rumania--has appreciably abated in these countries during the last ten years. It is hard to gauge, but it may even have increased in some areas.

b) Continuous indoctrination has not had great effect. Evidence suggests that the youth, a prime target of indoctrination, have nowhere become unquestioning advocates of the system. If anything--as everywhere and at all times--the most skeptical attitudes appear to be found among youth.

c) Superficial apathy should not be confused with willing acceptance. A people are quite capable of retaining a smoldering dislike for a system or a regime not of their own choice, even for generations as history has shown, passive but ready to burst into flame under favorable conditions.

d) While the economic situation may gradually improve, the overall standard of living will rise so slowly as to create no great reservoir of good will for the regimes. Even in the Soviet Union, after 40 years of impressive industrial progress, the standard of living of the masses is not so very much higher; and its present level is a matter for considerable complaint--perhaps as much in the 1950's as in the 1920's.

e) Despite all Soviet efforts to camouflage their hegemony, the majority of the people in the satellites will remain quite aware that they are living under an alien system; and will be under no illusions as to what foreign power forced the system on them, and what foreign power is committed to maintaining it.

f) Despite continuation of present censorship and other techniques tending to isolate the peoples from conditions abroad, considerable awareness of realities in the non-Communist world will probably continue to seep through the curtain. Presumably living conditions in Western Europe and America will actually be better for a long time, barring holocaust; and relative but not complete isolation may even be counterproductive to the satellite regimes--other fields sometimes look more green when seen dimly from afar.

g) Human nature being what it is, and the essence of the Soviet Communist system what it is--political and economic monopoly in the hands of a few--it seems probable that a basic antagonism between the two will persist for decades if not indefinitely. Two of the strongest human urges are: (a) to acquire the comforts and conveniences of life, according to taste of the individual; and (b) to think for himself, and express his conclusions in word and action as he chooses within reasonably liberal limits. In the foreseeable future it seems improbable that a centralized, planned economy can achieve the flexibility to compete with the consumer's choice of an economic democracy in the first respect; and improbable that a single-party government espousing a frozen ideology can compete with political democracy in the second. In consequence, it seems very doubtful that the masses in any European satellite, though they may become somewhat more tolerant and apathetic with time, will become supporters of communism by preference in the foreseeable future.

If the above argumentation be accepted, it could lead to the following prediction:

Other things being equal, within the next two or three decades an evolution within the Soviet Union which will substantially modify the system in the direction of political and economic freedoms is more likely than an evolution in the European satellites which will result in popular preference for the Communist system as it now exists.

Implications for U.S. Policy:

The first and most obvious policy implication to flow from the above consideration is: If change away from Communism in the Soviet satellites is desirable; and if it is unlikely--in fact if an opposite trend seems probable--except in consequence of major evolutionary changes in the USSR or comprehensive settlements of international problems; then the best opportunities for promoting the end in view must lie in efforts to further such an evolutionary process and to achieve such settlements. Results are more likely to be attained indirectly than directly.

At the same time, and particularly if the second line of analysis outlined earlier be correct, a constructive, long-term policy pointed directly at the satellites should also be possible. If the underlying spirit of resistance is likely to persist for years with only a gradual drop in potential, other things being equal, then it is reasonable to suppose that a policy of promoting continuing contacts of all kinds, of encouraging a flow of information, a reasonable amount of trade, tourism and normal contacts on the official level, should tend to give some additional support to this potential. Admittedly the effect will probably not be great. But assuming that the inner fabric of resistance potential is strong and durable, the addition of even a marginal degree of Western influence might act to preserve the spirit of dissatisfaction with foreign-imposed Communism for very many years. The ultimate outcome would still be uncertain. In a fast-changing world, however, ultimate is a long time. The unexpected may always be anticipated, and to keep the resistance potential alive should be a sound aim in itself, even when it is not clear in precisely what way this potential may finally be translated into action.

On the other hand, while the most soundly conceived and implemented policy may have positive but quite limited and contingent effect in promoting policy aims, an unsound policy could have more pronounced adverse effects. It seems to be admitted that at the least a gradual process of consolidation and strengthening of Communist regimes in the satellites is probable. Should Western and U.S. policy emphasize antagonism and aversion, minimize contacts of all kinds, treat the captive nations and their representatives alike as pariahs, as participating causes rather than victims of Soviet imperialism, it might accelerate the process considerably. Complete discouragement, no hope for and little acquaintance with an alternative, could then bring a more fundamental change involving popular acceptance of and adjustment to the system within a good deal shorter period than might otherwise have been the case.

In sum, reasonable conclusions appear to be the following: It is probable that the spirit of resistance to a Soviet-Communist system among the peoples in the satellites of Eastern Europe, due mainly to its innate strength but with some assistance from U.S. and Western policies, will remain alive and a strong potential force for many years--quite probably until global developments have produced significant changes of one kind or another in international relationships. The type of U.S. and Western policies which could give such assistance would appear to be substantially those now accepted in the Department. They require ad hoc skill and judgment in implementation and careful differentiation not only between peoples and regimes but between elements within regimes, almost to the point of schizophrenia. But they are not impossible of implementation.

On the other hand, it is conceivable in any event and quite possible if U.S. and Western policies change in the direction of cutting off and "writing off" the satellites, that the process of regime consolidation and strengthening will accelerate. This could result in a general, passive but more or less permanent popular acceptance of the Communist system in Eastern Europe in the nearer future, and perhaps before other influences have weakened the Soviet drive for expansion.

10. Report Prepared by the Operations Coordinating Board's Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems

Washington, July 23, 1958.


The OCB, at its meeting of July 9, 1958,/1/ requested the Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems to prepare a special report outlining possible U.S. actions which might be considered in connection with the recent execution of former Prime Minister Imre Nagy and former Defense Minister Pal Maleter, and also containing a summary of actions which have been taken or are in process with respect to this matter.

//Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1953 - 58. Confidential. Distributed to the OCB Assistants under cover of a July 23 memorandum from OCB Executive Officer Staats, in which Staats said that he hoped the report could be discussed at the Board Assistants' meeting on July 25. There is no indication that the report was discussed by the Board Assistants or brought to the attention of the OCB in any way.

/1/The approved minutes of this meeting are ibid.: Lot 62 D 430, Minutes - VI.

In response to this request, the Committee reports as follows:

1. The news of the execution of Nagy and Maleter has been widely disseminated through normal world news channels; the spontaneous official as well as public reaction and comment throughout the world (except, of course, in Communist-controlled countries) has been sharp and extensive, and in line with U.S. objectives.

2. The U.S. Information Agency has assisted in disseminating the news further, and in stimulating reaction to it and comment on it, to the extent possible without conveying the impression that the United States is conducting a propaganda campaign to exploit these developments purely for its own ends. A survey of USIA treatment of the Nagy and Maleter executions is attached./2/

/2/Not printed.

3. The U.S. position on the executions, clearly putting the responsibility on the Soviet Union, was stated on June 17 by Secretary Dulles and on June 18 by President Eisenhower. A strongly-worded State Department press release was also issued on June 17./3/

/3/See Document 7.

4. The State Department, through the U.S. mission at the UN, encouraged and supported the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary in the preparation of its special report on the executions, which was released to the press July 16./4/ (The Department, through the U.S. delegation at the UN, also suggested to the Special Committee that it receive as witnesses various prominent Hungarians now in exile to whom reference was made in the Hungarian regime's communique announcing the executions; however, the Special Committee did not act upon this suggestion.) A State Department press release was issued on July 17/5/ calling attention to, and summarizing, the special report. The Department's statement welcomed and endorsed the report, and added: "The United States, on its part, will continue to exert every possible effort to keep the plight of the Hungarian people before the conscience of the world and will continue to give full support to all measures within the United Nations that may contribute to the alleviation of the suffering and repression which the Hungarian people now endure."

/4/U.N. doc. A/3849.

/5/For text, see Department of State Bulletin, August 18, 1958, p. 295.

5. The USIA has given wide distribution to the text of the special report by Wireless Bulletin and VOA broadcasts. The USIA is also investigating the possibility of the UN having the document printed for public sale; if this is done, it will reach a much larger audience, particularly through libraries and other institutions.

6. An effort has been made to ascertain whether the Yugoslavs do have, as rumored, new and significant material relating to Nagy's role in the uprising, his kidnaping, and his execution, including records Nagy may have compiled while taking refuge in the Yugoslav embassy and minutes of the Khrushchev - Tito meeting in Bucharest./6/ So far, the Yugoslavs have not divulged what material they have, and have not indicated any intention of making it public at this time. The Yugoslav Government did, however, furnish to the UN Special Committee the text of its protest to the Hungarian regime on the Nagy execution./7/

/6/Nagy was given refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest November 4 - 22, 1956. Reference to the Khrushchev - Tito talks in Bucharest is unclear; presumably it should be the Khrushchev - Tito talks on the island of Brioni November 2 - 3, 1956.

/7/The Yugoslav note of protest was delivered by the Yugoslav Ambassador in Budapest on June 24 following his return that day from consultations in Belgrade.

7. The State Department, on the basis of material received from the legation in Budapest, has called attention to the rumors of the trial and execution of Julia Rajk/8/ and to the many retrials now going on. Material furnished by the State Department on the retrials was used by Alsing Anderson, of Denmark, chairman of the Special Committee on Hungary, in a press conference, and the New York Times carried a long story on this on July 12 and an editorial on July 13.

/8/Widow of former Interior and Foreign Minister Laszlo Rajk.

8. Exploitation of the special report has been under discussion in NATO, and the State Department is keeping its delegation informed of developments in relation to the Hungarian problem.

9. The State Department is exploring the possibility of raising the Hungarian issue in the UN General Assembly, but no decision has yet been reached on how or when it might best be done.

10. The question of challenging and rejecting the credentials of the Hungarian representatives at the next regular session of the General Assembly or at any special session on the Near East has also been discussed, but no decision has been reached as yet.

11. The Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems is of the opinion that the executions of Nagy and Maleter, insofar as topical treatment is concerned, have already been given close to maximum exploitation, particularly in view of subsequent events in the Near East,/9/ which have overshadowed all other developments in the world press. Maximum use should be made of the UN Committee's special report, and a continuing effort should be made to obtain information and make it available to the UN and the public about current developments in Hungary. The Committee has no additional immediate actions to suggest at this time for further exploitation of the executions.

/9/Reference is to the crisis in Lebanon and Jordan.

12. The Committee feels, however, that special attention should be given at this time to the broader problem of keeping alive the story of the Hungarian people's heroic bid for freedom, and the Soviet Union's brutal and continued suppression of Hungarian independence. This is a long- range project requiring coordinated planning by the agencies concerned, and should be the subject of a separate report which will require additional time for preparation. (Long-range treatment of the Nagy story would be part of such a study. One suggestion, for example, has been a book on "revisionism" which would draw heavily on Nagy's role in Hungary.)

13. The Committee is of the unanimous opinion that aid to the Hungarian refugee orchestra is a timely and valuable project in any long-range program to keep the story of the Hungarian revolution alive in the best sense of the word.

11. Paper Prepared by N. Spencer Barnes of the Policy Planning Staff

Washington, August 26, 1958.

//Source: Department of State, PPS Files: Lot 67 D 548, Europe (East). Secret. Regarding the origin of this paper, see the source note, Document 9. Several short notes were appended to this paper, one of which indicated that at the Policy Planning Staff meeting on August 25 "it was considered that a series of brief, cleared staff papers should be prepared on major fields of policy for wider distribution than hitherto. Two papers on the Soviet-dominated countries of Eastern Europe were used as examples, and Mr. Barnes will undertake to revise and condense these as the first of such a series." The other notes, initialed by Barnes, indicate that Barnes had sent the revised paper to Elbert G. Mathews, while Policy Planning Staff Director Gerard Smith was absent, and Mathews had said that a further meeting might be held to discuss giving the paper wider distribution when "more active preoccupations quieted down." No indication has been found, however, that such a meeting took place or that this paper was circulated outside the Policy Planning Staff.


I. Background Factors

The eight states in Eastern Europe bounded roughly by the USSR and the Black Sea on the east, Baltic Sea on the north, Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Italy and the Adriatic Sea on the west, and Greece and Turkey on the south, have the following points in common:

They are Communist states, with highly centralized governments which exercise effective control over the peoples and over the political, economic and cultural lives of these nations, and which in turn are rigidly controlled by a single or a dominant political "party" through various mechanisms including a strong security police. It is certain in most, and probable in all of these countries, that the majority of people are opposed to the Communist system and to the regimes in the sense that free elections, at least after a period of free pre-election activity and in the absence of exterior threats, would result in non- Communist governments.

All of these states either are or were under effective control of the Kremlin as a result of war and post-war developments. The Kremlin's power to dictate was eliminated in Yugoslavia through successful defection in 1948, threatened and reasserted by force in Hungary in 1956, circumscribed in Poland over the last two years but has remained substantially intact elsewhere. The most important instrument of Soviet control throughout the area has been armed force, present or immediately available. Other instruments of control have been local party and governmental machinery and security police forces, directed from Moscow though of greater or less reliability; economic pressures exerted through partial integration of neighboring economies with that of the USSR; monopoly of publicity media, etc. In every country the masses strongly oppose Soviet domination and welcome any practical opportunity to assert national independence. In addition, it seems probable that most of the leaders comprising the local governments do or would favor greater national independence if this could be combined with maintaining their own positions of power and influence.

None of the states in question possess the human, natural or technological resources to play a major political, military or economic role in Europe. Geographically and strategically they all lie in a belt between the Soviet Union on the east and the NATO power complex to the west and so will tend, individually or en bloc, to gravitate one way or the other. This gives very considerable politico-strategic importance to the area, participated in to a greater or lesser degree by each of its units.

II. Policy Considerations

US policy in this area will naturally be directed toward the long-term goal of independent, national states plus an East Germany reunited in freedom with the Federal Republic; all with governments freely chosen and supported by the peoples themselves; all satisfied or at least reconciled to living at peace with their neighbors within accepted national boundaries; all free from domination by the Soviet Union or any other foreign power; and all "Western oriented," not in a geographic sense but in the sense of sharing in the traditions of and attitudes toward those principles of human freedom under law and national self- determination within a cooperating comity of nations which may be considered the natural heritage of the free world. In practice, however, and in the near future this goal seems hardly feasible nor, it is believed, is it essential. Communism as an ideology, or way of life to command men's loyalties and fervor, is much less dangerous now. It has proven efficient in producing steel and sputniks but highly inefficient in satisfying man's natural craving for such amenities as consumer goods and free expression. In consequence, red Imperialism rather than ideological Communism is the enemy in being and the first obstacle to progress toward US policy goals; and reduction, neutralization and atomization of the Kremlin's power potential appear as prime goals at present. At the same time, since national policy has ruled out the application of military force to free the captive peoples of Eastern Europe, temporary acceptance of the situation becomes automatic and a shorter term policy designed to foster evolutionary change through non- military means is required.

It would seem wise to concentrate this interim policy on assisting the natural drive toward independence and on reducing the threat of Soviet action directed against such independence. It seems clear that in practice and in the foreseeable future the first aim can best be promoted under local Communist governments. Non-Communist regimes are not likely to come to power before, or coincident with, independence; and efforts to bring them to power are almost certain to result in retrogression to occupation status as happened in Hungary. On the other hand, national Communism, self-determination under Communism, will not only be in line with the first aspirations of peoples but will be attractive to local leaders at such times as the latter see prospects for successful assertion of national rights. In addition, independence on these terms is much less likely to precipitate Soviet intervention.

The corollary to this proposition is that US policy should, in these countries, for an interim period only, avoid active opposition to Communism per se and should attempt to discourage premature action aimed at overthrowing Communist regimes. There is little danger of overdoing this. The US Government will certainly continue to express, through media, official and diplomatic channels, its conviction that the popular welfare in any country is best served through political democracy, individual liberties and wide scope for private enterprise. But this may be coupled with continuing emphasis on the fact that the US and its Western allies have no intention of exerting pressure on any Communist government in a truly independent state. The chances for disillusionment with the West, such as followed the Hungarian Revolution, would be reduced by this posture. It would encourage elements in present governments who may be inclined toward a gradual swing out of the Soviet orbit. And furthermore, it would continuously undercut Soviet propaganda that US policy promotes the restoration of monopoly capitalism or feudalism.

The above posture is close to that adopted toward Yugoslavia after its declaration of independence, and quite similar to our present attitude toward Poland. But it would seem no less important in its application to other states where the first steps toward independence have not yet been taken. As to how the attitude can best be carried across, the normal use of media, official statements, diplomatic channels, economic negotiations, the UN forum, cultural and informational exchanges and contacts of all types, are well enough known to require no elucidation. It would also seem well to avoid expressing antagonism toward local Communist leaders as individuals--except the most hopelessly compromised Soviet agents -- on the theory that any one of them may unexpectedly be tempted to loosen ties with Moscow. At the same time it would appear reasonable to express a clear distinction in action between the more independent nations, as Yugoslavia and Poland, and the out-and-out satellites--in other words a policy of graduating aid and comfort in accordance with degree of independence rather than with degree of similarity in political and social system.

In reducing the threat of Soviet intervention, the general approach should be three-pronged. First, the employment of every effort to stimulate a revulsion of world-wide public opinion against the Soviet use of force against neighboring states. A constant harping on the discrepancy between Soviet word and deed, using the Hungarian example to the limit in showing the insincerity of Soviet advocacy of non- interference, would seem desirable. The examples of Yugoslavia and Poland can be invaluable vis-a-vis the still captive states.

The second prong would be to maintain a US and NATO military potential sufficiently powerful to carry conviction that an alternative exists to Soviet domination. The effectiveness of this posture may be questioned, in view of demonstrated unwillingness to risk all-out war in protecting Hungary's independence. But it is still a real factor, one which may have tipped the balance in Yugoslavia's 1948 breakaway and which could have analogous effect in the future. It goes without saying, of course, that its efficacy will be largely proportional to actual power relationships, and would vanish under demonstrable Soviet superiority; and that not only military potential counts, but availability and readiness to use it if necessary.

The third prong would consist in continued and serious efforts to reach agreements on political issues such as German reunification, troop withdrawals, disarmament and European security, of a kind which would pose both material and psychological blocks to the maintenance or introduction of Soviet troops in neighboring countries. Such agreements would greatly facilitate US policy implementation in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas. The unlikelihood of quick success should be no reason to abandon attempts.

Other important elements in policy toward the area in question would include:

(a) The encouragement of rapprochement and closer ties--diplomatic, cultural, informational, etc.--between the US and Western European nations on one hand and the Communist bloc on the other, on the theory that the natural flow of influence will be from West to East and closer contacts will promote this flow.

(b) Efforts to reorient trade patterns of the smaller Communist countries toward greater dependence on Western trading partners. Limited economic and technical aid would also seem appropriate, but only to countries already enjoying an appreciable measure of independence.

12. Memorandum From the Director of Intelligence and Research (Cumming) to Secretary of State Dulles

Washington, November 6, 1958.


Intelligence Note: Implications of the "New Rapacki Plan" for the US and Western Europe

1. A new version of the Rapacki Plan was announced in Warsaw on November 4. (Tab A)/1/ The new version envisages two stages. In the first stage Poland, Czechoslovakia, East and West Germany, would ban the production of nuclear weapons and undertake not to build installations for them; simultaneously the US and the USSR would agree not to give nuclear weapons to armies that did not have them.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 640.0012/11 - 658. Confidential.

/1/Not found attached. A detailed analysis of the new version of the Rapacki Plan is in Intelligence Report No. 7891, "The Rapacki Plan--A Polish Road to the West," December 5, 1958, prepared by the Office of Intelligence Research and Analysis. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, OSS - INR Reports)

In the second stage, nuclear installations of the Soviet Union and the West in the area would be banned but only after agreement had been reached on nuclear and on conventional disarmament in the zone.

2. If accepted by the West, the plan would have profound military and political implications. Militarily it would deny to NATO the ability to carry out defensive plans, which depend on utilizing West German forces armed with advanced weapons as a counter balance to Soviet superiority in conventional weapons. While there is no evidence that the USSR intends to arm its satellites with thermonuclear weapons, the denial of these weapons to German forces would constitute an overwhelming military concession to the USSR without reciprocal benefits.

3. Politically, the plan implies that West Germany would eventually be excluded from Western councils and defense planning since it would not be able to fulfill its military obligations. Moreover, as the plan seems to enhance Soviet control over Germany, the Adenauer government is bound to reject it. It is obvious that Adenauer is fully aware of the political, psychological and military dangers involved.

4. The new Rapacki Plan is designed as a major propaganda weapon. It was issued over the heads of existing governments to the "peoples of Europe". However, it can develop into an effective diplomatic tool of the USSR and become a potent weapon for producing additional strains in NATO. It is significant that the plan was released after Rapacki's visit to Norway, where sympathy has existed for some of his ideas.

5. The propaganda campaign outside Germany will stress that all the legitimate defense needs of the US, UK and France have been provided for, since these powers would keep their thermonuclear weapons in the "atom free zone" until an agreement had been reached on conventional armament in this zone. Only the Germans, the "troublemakers of Europe", the "State that produced Hitler" would be denied these weapons.

6. The Soviet propaganda will also seek to impress the West Germans that the plan is the only one which keeps open the door to reunification and that Germany is not "disarmed" since she would have a conventional force for legitimate defense needs. If the Germans restrict themselves to conventional weapons in their own territory, the Soviets will insist, they should not hesitate to ask the Western allies to remove their thermonuclear weapons from German soil in return for similar Soviet action. Therefore, withdrawal of all alien forces from German soil and the "atomic neutralization" of a "reunited" Germany will be represented as the most rational policy for the Germans to adopt.

7. This propaganda line coincides with the position of an increasingly vocal wing of the SPD. The SPD (and the FDP) will probably hail the new plan as a further sign of the need for negotiations and demand anew assurances from the Adenauer government that it will not rearm Germany with thermonuclear weapons until a new effort has been made to discuss the German question with the Soviets. Should the government not accept these demands, the opposition might launch another major campaign to refer the weapons issue to the people by plebiscite, referendum or some other scheme. The present thermonuclear fallout in the Scandinavian countries and the current deadlock of test suspension talks in Geneva will also provide additional pretexts to the SPD to reopen the "Struggle Against Atomic Death" campaign and to link this campaign with the demand for a high level conference to consider the Rapacki Plan, as well as general disarmament and the reunification of Germany.

8. The East German regime will unconditionally accept the new Rapacki Plan and use it as the basis for a campaign to protect Germany against thermonuclear annihilation and to assure progress towards reunification. If the Adenauer government proves to be intransigent, its policy will be denounced as a return to "fascism" and the East Germans will attempt to develop a "people's movement" throughout Germany to consider means to prevent the return of "Nazism" to Germany. The combination of these factors may confront Adenauer with as serious a coalition of hostile internal and external forces as he has ever had to face.

A similar memorandum has been addressed to The Under Secretary.

13. Despatch From the Legation in Hungary to the Department of State

No. 302 Budapest, November 20, 1958.

REF Legation Despatch No. 249, October 23, 1958/1/

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 864.413/11 - 2058. Secret; Limited Distribution.

/1/Despatch 249 contained the recommendations of the Legation regarding the possibility of Cardinal Mindszenty leaving the Legation to travel to Rome for the election of a new Pope following the death of Pius XII on October 9. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 2358) On November 4 Cardinal Roncalli, who took the name John XXIII, was chosen his successor.

SUBJECT The Future of Cardinal Mindszenty

The Legation has, from time to time, sought to comply with the requirement contained in the Department's telegram No. 241 of November 16, 1956,/2/ which concluded: "Legation's recommendations invited regarding future of Mindszenty". Recent developments, connected with the Conclave at the Vatican for the election of Pope John XXIII, would seem to make it desirable that the situation of Cardinal Mindszenty again be reviewed and the Legation's recommendations be brought up to date. The present despatch is designed to meet this requirement and this purpose.

Regime Officially Informed

/2/Telegram 241 to Budapest contained the Department of State's instructions regarding the Legation's continuing refuge and protection of the Cardinal. (Ibid., 864.413/11 - 1656)

The Hungarian Government has now been "officially" advised of the presence of Cardinal Mindszenty in this Legation. No such advice was made to the Government until the presentation of the Legation's note No. 136 on Saturday, October 18, 1958./3/ On two previous occasions, officials of the Foreign Ministry had made oblique reference to our harboring a Hungarian national, but the name of Cardinal Mindszenty was not mentioned and there was no discussion of the subject. High officials of the Government had, however, repeatedly attacked the United States Government and the Legation (in public speeches, in statements to the press, and in reply to direct questions from visiting Americans) for giving "asylum" to a "Hungarian criminal".

/3/Text of this note is quoted in telegram 146 from Budapest, October 24. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 2458)

Despite the "after-the-event" knowledge of certain "observers" that the Hungarian Government was bound to refuse the request for a safe conduct,/4/ there was no way of knowing before the matter was officially broached to the Hungarian Government what its reply would be. The Cardinal (Legation telegram 119, October 9)/5/ thought that the choice for the regime would be a difficult one, but was inclined to believe that the authorities would like to have him outside the country. The Legation (Legation telegram 124, October 10)/6/ felt that it was "not entirely clear" what decision the regime might reach, but pointed out that recent statements by Government officials had indicated a "general hardening" on the subject of the Cardinal's possible departure from Hungary. The Vatican (Rome telegram 1172, October 13)/7/ appears to have had information that the regime would not be opposed to the Cardinal's release, provided he would not return to Hungary. While the Department was not favorable to initiative being taken by the United States in the matter (Department's telegram 1304, October 10, to Rome),/8/ the Legation was subsequently instructed (Department's telegram No. 97, October 14, No. 1356 to Rome)/9/ to negotiate with the Hungarian Government, on behalf of the College of Cardinals, for a safe conduct, thus seeming to indicate a belief on the part of the Department that there existed some possibility of procuring such safe conduct.

/4/London Times, October 24, 1958, from Vienna: "The Hungarian refusal to grant Cardinal Mindszenty a safe conduct to attend the Conclave of the Sacred College of Cardinals to take part in the election of the Pope, did not surprise observers here, who predicted all along that the Hungarians will describe the American request asking for permission for Cardinal Mindszenty to leave Hungary as `gross interference in the internal affairs' of their country.

"Hungarian refugees here said today that the timing of the American request coinciding with the eve of the second anniversary of the Hungarian revolt was instrumental for the uncompromising refusal." [Footnote in the source text.]

/5/Telegram 119 described the Legation's informing the Cardinal of the Pope's death. (Department of State, Central Files, 864.413/10 - 958)

/6/Not printed. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 1058)

/7/Not printed. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 1358)

/8/Not printed. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 958)

/9/Not printed. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 1358)

There is, of course, nothing final about a decision taken by a communist government; it is perfectly capable of reversing that decision without any new developments having intervened to give even a semblance of justification for such reversal. However, the refusal of the safe conduct for attendance of the Cardinal at the Conclave was so categorical, and was given at a time and under circumstances which might have been expected to give perhaps the maximum of justification for the Hungarian regime to grant it, that the Legation sees little or no likelihood of any change of attitude in the ascertainable future. Only the agreement of the United States Government to exchange Chiefs of Mission with the regime and, thereby, to accord the regime full international status would seem to be a likely "bait" to bring about a radical change in its attitude and policy toward this question. The regime's note of October 22/10/ would seem to make clear that the Hungarian authorities (and, presumably, the Kremlin) are satisfied that the presence of the Cardinal in the Legation is a matter of greater embarrassment and concern to the United States Government than to the Government of Hungary.

/10/Text of the Hungarian Foreign Office's note of October 22 was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 143 from Budapest, October 22. (Ibid., 864.413/10 - 2258)

No such situation can, however, remain permanently static and it is at least within the realm of the possible that, sooner or later, a move will have to be made by one of the interested parties--the Holy See, the United States Government, the Hungarian Government, or the Cardinal--for a solution of this problem. Since, as became abundantly clear during these recent negotiations, the attitude of the Cardinal could be of crucial importance in effecting any solution, the Legation would like to set forth for the consideration of the Department its thoughts on this aspect of the matter, in the hope that means and methods might be found to influence the Cardinal's thinking, in advance of the event, along the lines desired by the Department and/or by the Holy See.

The Cardinal and The Vatican

The Legation appreciates and understands the undesirability (as set forth in the enclosure to Mr. Robert McKisson's letter of March 11, 1957, to Mr. Spencer Barnes)/11/ of setting up a regular channel of communication between the Cardinal and the Vatican. However, those of us in close, daily contact with the Cardinal have long been aware of his confused thinking on the "deep spiritual problems" which his present situation creates and have felt that some means should, if at all possible, be found to give the Holy See a just appreciation of his mental conflicts and to give him the benefit, on this question only, of guidance and assistance from his spiritual leaders. (My letters of August 21, 1957, and January 16, 1958 to Mr. James Sutterlin.)/12/ The almost complete lack of understanding between the Cardinal and the Holy See became clearly manifest during the recent negotiations and it was only with the greatest of reluctance that the Cardinal finally gave his assent to departure if a "satisfactory" guarantee could be obtained from the Hungarian Government. (The Cardinal, it should be remembered, has no faith in any promises from the present Hungarian regime and fully anticipated the worst, if an attempt had been made to take him to Austria under any such "safe conduct".) This reluctant assent was accorded only for the particular circumstances then existing--i.e., attendance at the Conclave--and would, one may safely assume, not carry over to another set of circumstances. It would, therefore, become necessary to "negotiate" once again with the Cardinal and, since the time element might be of extreme brevity, the Legation believes that logic and our own best interests require that the Cardinal be attuned to the thinking and wishes of the Vatican before another crisis arises.

/11/Not found.

/12/Copies of both these letters are in Department of State, Hungary Desk Files: Lot 75 D 45, Refuge for Cardinal Mindszenty.

The Legation has sensed for some time, and most particularly during the recent "crisis", that the Vatican itself has not been of one mind with respect to the policy which it should follow in the matter of the Cardinal's remaining in or departing from Hungary. Earlier reports on this subject had been conflicting. The direct, official word through the Office of the Apostolic Delegate in Washington was to the effect that he should remain. When, however, a seemingly advantageous opportunity to have the Cardinal leave the Legation and the country presented itself, the Vatican became intent upon his availing himself of such opportunity and considerable pressure was put upon him by the Holy See to follow this course. One is left to speculate whether it was not, perhaps, the late Pope who was inclined to inaction earlier, with the result that those in favor of another policy were in a position to act only after Pius XII had left the scene. The Legation is not in a position to know the correct answer to this question, since it is not aware of the full circumstances (and under whose initiative) the Cardinal chose to seek refuge at the American Legation in the early hours of November 4, 1956. If, however, the late Pope did, during his lifetime, make the final policy determination on matters relating to the Cardinal's future, the question now becomes once again subject to review because of the presence of a new Pope, whose ideas and conceptions may be different from those of his predecessor. The Legation feels that the Cardinal cannot possibly become au fait of Pope John's thinking on this matter unless some exchange of ideas (again, on this question only) is permitted and arranged.

The Legation has no illusions about the difficulties inherent in trying to bring the Cardinal into line with the policy of the Holy See, if the Holy See's ideas and concepts should prove to be different from his own. The Cardinal is imbued with the very special position and powers exercised for many centuries by the Prince Primate of Hungary. The Holy See, however, seems to appreciate (as the Cardinal does not) that the "social revolution" which has occurred in Hungary since World War II has seriously altered (if, indeed, it has not brought to an end) that "special position". (The unusual position and powers of the Prince Primate are fully set forth in the chapter on "The Church" in C.A. Macartney's "Hungary", published in 1934.)

The Vatican was not, however, always of this view. As late as April of last year (Embassy Rome's telegram No. 4174, April 16, 1957),/13/ the Holy See was evincing the desire "to discuss the Cardinal's departure on quid-pro-quo basis with view to extract some concessions from Kadar's regime". While any such concept was unrealistic, even at that date, the Holy See has been in a position, during the intervening eighteen months, to understand the radical changes that have occurred and to alter its concepts and its policy accordingly. Cardinal Mindszenty has not been in such a position; isolated, as he is, from almost all Church developments and from spiritual contact with the Holy See, his views and concepts have fallen behind and out of line with those of his spiritual mentors. It is this lack of rapport--this failure to be "on the same wave length"--which the Legation feels must now be bridged, if we are not to be faced on still another occasion with the necessity of again undertaking difficult and touchy negotiations with the Cardinal under pressure of events which may permit even less time and facility for exchanges between Budapest, Rome, and Washington than existed during the recent "Conclave crisis".

/13/Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 864.413/4 - 1657)

There appears to be a very general (and perhaps not unnatural) assumption by people outside Hungary (one might almost say, outside this Legation) that the Cardinal would welcome any opportunity to exchange his present place of refuge for a place of safety and a position of Church activity outside this country. Articles in the Western press are almost uniformly written with this assumption in mind. Even the Vatican appears to have expected that the Cardinal would be ready and anxious to avail himself of a safe conduct, if such were arranged for him. The Legation's telegram No. 170 of November 19/14/ was dispatched because it appeared that the Cardinal's firmly held ideas on this matter might not be fully understood in Washington and New York. The officers of the Legation dealing with the question of the Cardinal's future are so fully imbued with the reality of this situation that it seems important that it again be brought to the attention of those who will be determining United States policy on this question. The Legation feels that the Vatican should likewise be made aware of the problem and, in the light of the recent close contacts between the Embassy in Rome and the Vatican on the subject of the Cardinal, the way would now appear to be paved and the time to be opportune for effecting this objective.

/14/Not printed. (Ibid., 764.00/11 - 1958)


1. Now that the Hungarian Government and the Legation have exchanged communications with respect to the presence of the Cardinal in the Chancery, there seems every likelihood that the regime--choosing the opportunity which seems to suit its own purposes best--will mount a full-scale attack on our harboring of a "Hungarian criminal" and will make demands for his departure from the Legation. The limits to which the regime will be prepared to go in ensuring compliance with this demand will depend upon the extent of deterioration in American- Hungarian relations, both bilaterally and in the United Nations. Whether they will be prepared to go to the extent of breaking relations in order (among other objectives) to obtain custody of the Cardinal, is a question to which a firm answer cannot at present be given; but it would appear inevitable that they should play this situation to its utmost in their efforts to get the United States to accord recognition of "respectability" to the regime, by the sending of a Minister to this Legation and by the cessation of our efforts to have the regime comply with the Resolutions of the General Assembly.

2. The Legation assumes that the United States will continue to do everything possible to prevent the present Hungarian authorities from again obtaining control over the Cardinal, while at the same time seeking a satisfactory permanent settlement of the problem of his refuge. The possibility--if not the probability--of further negotiations on the question would, therefore, appear to be likely to arise in due course (provided, of course, that death or serious illness does not intervene to effect a different solution). The Legation is impressed with the desirability of reaching, in advance of the opening of such further negotiations, a firm and clear understanding among the Government of the United States, the Holy See, and the Cardinal that the Cardinal would leave his refuge in the Legation, if and when a suitable guarantee of his safety might be obtained. The Legation feels, on the basis of its knowledge of the Cardinal's thinking and of the record during the recent negotiations, that such "clear understanding" cannot be reached with the Cardinal without an exchange of views between him and the Vatican.

Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. Charge d'Affaires a.i.

14. Memorandum of Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State (Herter) and President Eisenhower

Washington, December 6, 1958.


Hungarian Resolution on the Matter of Credentials

After the NSC meeting this morning the President called me in to his office to say that he had had a talk with Cabot Lodge with respect to the Hungarian Resolution on the matter of credentials.

The President had apparently gotten the impression from Cabot that the State Department was rather lukewarm on raising the credentials issue, but that it was doing so because it thought the President felt strongly on the subject. Cabot had explained the great difficulties he thought he would have in getting the necessary two-thirds vote for such a resolution and expressed his fears as to the wisdom of raising the credentials issue.

The President just wanted to make it clear that, insofar as he was concerned, and regardless of C.D. Jackson's exhortations, the President would not for a moment consider asking the State Department to go through with such a resolution if we ourselves were lukewarm or had doubts about it./1/


//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/12 - 658. Confidential.

/1/On December 12, the U.N. General Assembly's Credentials Committee adopted a U.S. motion by a vote of 6 to 1 (Soviet Union), with 2 abstentions, that "it take no decision regarding the credentials submitted on behalf of the representatives of Hungary." On December 13, the Assembly, by a vote of 79 to 1, with 1 abstention, approved the Committee's report. (Resolution 1346 (XIII))

On December 12, the General Assembly also adopted a joint draft resolution on Hungary by a vote of 54 to 10, with 15 abstentions. (Resolution 1312 (XIII)) The resolution expressed the Assembly's endorsement of the Special Committee's supplementary report of July 14, 1958, denounced the executions of Imre Nagy and others and the continuing repression in Hungary, and appointed Sir Leslie Munro of New Zealand to represent the United Nations to report to member states or the General Assembly on significant developments regarding the implementation of Assembly resolutions on Hungary.

15. Editorial Note

On January 7, 1959, the Operations Coordinating Board considered a report submitted by the Board Assistants on Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe. This was essentially a six-month progress report on NSC 5811/1 (Document 6). The report consisted of a "Summary Evaluation" and a section on "Major Operating Problems and Difficulties Facing the United States." The general conclusions in the "Summary Evaluation" were the following:

"Despite Soviet efforts to enforce rigid ideological conformity and to tighten party discipline within the Soviet bloc, Soviet vulnerabilities in the area--including such factors as the degree of liberalization in Poland, the disruptive influence on the bloc of the Yugoslav ideological heresy and of Yugoslavia's position as an independent Communist state, and the failure of the Soviet Union and the bloc regimes to establish a broad base of popular support in the dominated countries--remain evident. The resulting atmosphere of change and ferment in the dominated nations, although recently subject to stronger corrective measures by the Communist authorities, continues to afford moderate opportunities over a long term for the United States to advance its policy objectives, including entering into more active relations with the dominated regimes in order to project U.S. influence in these countries more effectively. The refusal of the United States to recognize the domination of these nations by the USSR as an acceptable status quo and the U.S. view that the people of each nation should be independent and free to choose their form of government have helped to keep alive the hopes and aspirations of these peoples; however, this position has not brought about a modification of Soviet policy favorable to U.S. objectives. It is difficult to demonstrate or evaluate, on a short-run basis, the effects of continuing U.S. efforts to exploit Soviet bloc vulnerabilities; some evidence of success, however, is indicated in continued Soviet sensitiveness to such activities." (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, Soviet Satellites--II)

According to a memorandum of January 7 from Jeremiah J. O'Connor of the OCB Staff to Merchant, in which O'Connor quoted an excerpt from his informal and preliminary notes on the discussion at the OCB meeting that day, most of the discussion of the paper revolved around developments in East-West exchanges since NSC 5811/1 had been approved. Vice Chairman Karl G. Harr noted that reading the paper reflected a "great feeling of quietude" after the Hungarian revolt. Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles said that this was not the case in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and he thought Soviet efforts in those countries had probably "slowed up" Albert W. Sherer, Officer in Charge of Polish, Baltic, and Czechoslovak Affairs, commented that in Poland it was more a matter of some "accommodation" having been reached between Khrushchev and Gomulka. The Board approved the report for transmittal to the National Security Council. (Ibid., USSR & Satellites--General--1959 - 60)


[End of Section 3]

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