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DOCUMENTS - Part Four: Final Summaries and Recommendations

Document 4


Secret Undated

The Hungarians have failed to take any realistic action to withdraw from the war, thought they have repeatedly avowed their desire to do so.The difficulty has been their hope that the "Anglo-Americans" would protect them against Soviet Russia, and their unwillingness to part with territories acquired with German aid. The country is now in ferment, however, and events may move rapidly.

Draft armistice terms for Hungary, having the approval of the Joint Chiefs, were sent to the European Advisory Commission several months ago.[2] Subsequently revised terms, including certain inducements to the Hungarians while maintaining the principle of unconditional surrender, were sent forward.

The United States does not contemplate participation in military operations in Hungary or in the occupation of that country. American troops in that area could probably be used more effectively, in the political sense, than either British or Soviet armies, but such participa- tion would inevitably involve this Government as an active agent in the political questions of Southeastern Europe. Although planning for civil affairs administration in Hungary after surrender is under the jurisdiction of AFHQ in the Mediterranean Theater, American represen- tatives have taken no part in whatever planning has been done. The United States will, however, desire political representatives in Hungary in the period after surrender. Such representation is desirable for the execution of the political terms of the armistice, for supporting our general objectives of promoting a just and stable political and territorial settlement, as well as for securing accurate first-hand political and economic information, and protecting American interests.

As a long-term objective the United States favors the establishment of a broadly-based provisional government, designed to carry through by democratic means the transition to a permanent regime. There are revolutionary forces in Hungary working for land reform, electoral reform and the overthrow of the present ruling group. We acknowledge


* This document was published in, Foreign Relations of the United States of America. The Conference at Quebec (Washington, 1972), 214-215. the need and the strong public demand for changes in the Hungarian system, and must expect that these reforms will not be accomplished without some violence.

In regard to the territorial settlement, the United States favors, as a matter of principle, the restoration of the pre-Munich frontier, and any consideration of the boundary disputes between Hungary and its neighbors should start from that point. However, we do not regard the pre-Munich boundaries as unchangeable and believe certain changes to be desirable in the interest of a stable settlement.

Thus, in the case of the frontier with Czechoslovakia, if an opportu- nity arises for revision by agreement which would leave to Hungary certain overwhelmingly Magyar-inhabited districts, the United States would favor such a solution. In the case of the frontier with Yugoslavia, the United States sees some merit in a compromise solution which would leave to Hungary the northern part of the Voivodina, although this Government should not, we feel, press for such a solution. In the case of the frontier with Rumania, the American position will be more or less frozen by our agreement to the armistice terms for Rumania which provide for the restoration to that country of "all or the major part of Transylvania, subject to confirmation at the peace settlement."[3] In the final settlement the United States would favor, at the least, a revision of the pre-war frontier on ethnic grounds, transferring to Hungary a small strip of territory given to Rumania at the end of the last war.

1. Annex 8 to Hull'e memorandum to Roosevelt dated September 6, 1944, which was sent to the White Houes under cover of a further memorandum of September 8. See ante, p. 120.

2. See Foreign Relations, 1944, Vol. III, pp. 883-887.

3. See Foreign Relations, 1944, Vol. IV, pp. 170, 173.

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