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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 12, 1945

RECORD OF CONVERSATION OF THE ALLIED CONTROL COMMISSION OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA S. A. DANGULOV WITH LEADER OF A WING OF THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY (NLP) G. TATARESCU

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Tatarescu, a leader in the Romanian National Liberal Party (NLP) describes factions inside his own party and relations between the various political parties in post-war Romania.
    "Record of Conversation of the Allied Control Commission Official in Romania S. A. Dangulov with Leader of a Wing of the National Liberal Party (NLP) G. Tatarescu" January 12, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation, fond 07, op 10, p 24, d 332, ll 5-10. Document No. 39 in Vostochnaia Evropa, edited by G.P. Murashko, et al, vol. 1. Translated for CWIHP by Svetlana Savranskaya. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118442
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Record of Conversation of the Allied Control Commission Official

in Romania S. A. Dangulov with Leader of a Wing of

the National Liberal Party (NLP) G. Tatarescu about His Political Positions[1]

Bucharest

January 12, 1945

SECRET

On January 12 former Chairman of the Council of Ministers Tatarescu visited me with his assistant with an intention, as he pointed out, to thank us for allowing him to publish his newspaper.

Tatarescu used this meeting in order to present a plan of his political actions for the future. During the conversation he shed light on some aspects of his activity which previously were not well known.

Tatarescu began with acknowledging the fact that for 20 years of his political life he oriented himself to the West. "I believe, -- noted Tatarescu, -- that with the victory of the Soviet Union a new situation has developed in Eastern Europe as it has never been before. In this situation to continue to look to the West would mean to lead the country in a wrong direction. This is exactly why I proclaimed the orientation to the Soviet Russia in all my declarations. This is the basis of my policy and this is how my policy differs in particular from the policy of the current official leadership of the National Liberal Party which supports the Tsaranists in their orientation to the Western powers."

At the same time, Tatarescu stated that he engaged in an energetic activity in the National Liberal Party, which is directed against the current leadership of that party. According to him, he set himself a task to take control of the party leadership. He believes that this objective could be realized by drawing the majority of the party to his side. ''The Liberal Party, -- noted Tatarescu, -- was brought up on healthy democratic principles and I believe that the overwhelming majority of the members of this party would join me."

As Tatarescu pointed out, he accused the present leadership of the party, and Dinu Brutianu[2] first of all, of sacrificing the party independence and therefore betraying the party traditions. Tatarescu pointed out that his appeal was finding a response in broad masses of the party. "As has been already published in the press, -- noted Tatarescu, -- I have support of many provincial organizations of National Liberals and of some youth organizations that associate with the party. Now I can say that this process is expanding to include the old National Liberals, who up until now acted as if they were loyal to Dinu Brutianu. In particular, one of prominent figures of the National Liberal Party, former Prime Minister Angelesku, who leads the opposition inside the party among the old time liberals, supports me". According to Tatarescu, the number of his supporters grows quite rapidly, and he has not lost hope to put Dinu Brutianu in such a situation where only the Brutianu family and the owners of the National Bank who always stood behind that family were left on his side."

Referring to his relations with the Communist and the Social Democratic parties, Tatarescu stressed that he was doing everything necessary in order to achieve full cooperation. As Tatarescu pointed out, he would be trying to expand the social base of the party, including small retail businessmen and craftsmen. ''This, -- said Tatarescu, -- will make the party more democratic in its composition and thus will remove the gap which always existed in the social composition of the Communist and the Social Democratic parties on the one hand, and of the Liberal Party, on the other."

After this, the conversation moved to Tatarescu's relations with the Tsaranist party. To my question, whether Tatarescu has supporters in the lower organizations of this party, Tatarescu responded positively. To my next question, who leads the group of Tatarescu's supporters in the Tsaranist party, Tatarescu responded that there was no such a person in that party, but among the rest leading figures of that party Dr. Mihalake is the closest one to Tatarescu. At the same time, Tatarescu pointed out that he considered Mihalake a capable political figure and he was confident that in the current struggle with Maniu victory will be on Mihalake's side. To my question about what position, according to Tatarescu would Dr. Lupu take in the case of Mihalake's victory, Tatarescu responded that Lupu was Mihalake's close friend and he would always be on the latter's side. "It is true, -- noted Tatarescu, -- that there was time when Lupu attempted to act independently, but in my view he will not dare to do it in the future, because Mihalake's influence in the party is overwhelming." Tatarescu pointed out that if there was a change of leadership in the Tsaranist party and if Mihalake replaces Maniu, dissatisfaction of rank-and-file liberals of Dinu Brutianu's policy would increase, and therefore Tatarescu's coming to power would be accelerated.

After this Tatarescu spoke about his relations with Maniu. He stated that Maniu was the only one of all political leaders of Romania with whom he has been waging an intense political struggle for 20 years now. Maniu has never held power firmly and is not capable of creative activity. All his political life he led the opposition and built his political authority on this basis. "Once I told Maniu, -- noted Tatarescu, -- that he was nothing more than a sledgehammer destroying everything in its path." According to Tatarescu, this Maniu's trait has become pathological. As long as it referred to separate questions of the intra-party life, it was somewhat tolerable. But now we are speaking about something bigger. Romania should make a choice to whom to side. And in this situation Maniu, in his drive to reject everything creative, is trying to lead the country on the wrong path, he is dangerous for the country. However, noted Tatarescu, it is necessary to make sure that your country would not judge Romania by the position Maniu occupies. As soon as Maniu would have to depart, the task of achieving the mutual understanding will become much easier.

In this connection Tatarescu noted that the contradictions between Maniu and Mihalake were growing and the change of the leadership in the party could happen much faster than it might appear to spectators who look at the situation from the outside. To my question, whether Tatarescu thinks that the following situation would be possible in the case of leadership change in both parties where Maniu and Brutianu would be on one side and Mihalake and Tatarescu would be on the other, Tatarescu responded affirmatively. Tatarescu also responded affirmatively to the question whether he would be able to achieve understanding with Mihalake .

.

After this, the conversation turned to the relations of the right wing parties to the parties of the National-Democratic Front. In this connection, I asked Tatarescu, how he sees Mihalake's position at the moment when he becomes the head of the National Tsaranist party, to the parties of the National-Democratic Front. In response, Tatarescu noted that he did not have any illusions about that. As it is known, noted Tatarescu, Mihalake comes from the family of affluent peasants. He is a kulak by nature. The atavistic core is very strong in him. He is very jealous of the growing influence of the Communists in the country. Just like his predecessors, who were ready to kill a person for moving a stone marking a border between the peasant fields, -- Mihalake is willing to use all his influence in order to defeat Communists who dared to infiltrate his "most secret sphere" -- the Romanian village.

To my question, how does Tatarescu see his relations with Mihalake and the parties of the National-Democratic Front in the case if he and Mihalake were able to be at the head of the National Liberal and the National Tsaranist parties, Tatarescu responded by pointing to the need to do everything necessary in order to achieve unity. With this Tatarescu made an effort to end the conversation about Mihalake noting: "I am not putting my relations with Mihalake at the top of the agenda. The main issue for me is the relationship with the parties of the National- Democratic Front with which I am hoping to have understanding as complete as I have now. As far as Mihalake is concerned, I consider my relations with him important only to the extent to which it is necessary to be able to see the future political situation in the country in all its aspects." Having made this statement, Tatarescu began to speak about his relations with the National-Democratic Front dwelling on his conversations with Patrashkanu, calling him his close friend, and saying that in conversations with him Tatarescu had full unity of approaches.

I had an impression that Tatarescu turned from the conversation about Mihalake to conversation about Patrashkanu because he was concerned that in his statements about Mihalake he gave him a very positive characteristic which might compromise Tatarescu in the eyes of the Soviet side, because his attitude to the Tsaranists was well known.

Apparently, in the effort to defuse this impression, Tatarescu, while continuing to speak about his conversations with Patrashkanu, pointed out that he tried to inform him of his plans regarding the creation of a Soviet-Romanian military unit. At the same time, as Tatarescu pointed out, he stressed to Patrashkanu that they should not minimize the importance of economic relations with the USSR, because the common economic interest in the material base always provided a basis for any military union. At the same time, noted Tatarescu, already now we should popularize the economic ties between our countries. That would make it possible for us to attract considerable business circles that are primarily interested in trade relations. Moreover, it would be exactly those business circles that are trying to orient themselves toward the Western powers. If in this connection, the Soviet press or the Soviet radio could publish more or less lengthy commentaries making an effort to draw a picture of economic relations between the two countries in the future -- that would do a priceless service to our common business and would help earn trust in the business circles, whose role could not be underestimated. "

In conclusion, Tatarescu said that he would like to continue this discussion in the future, so that he would have an opportunity to express his ideas regarding which circles of the Romanian public should we orient ourselves toward in laying down the basis of friendly Soviet-Romanian relations.

I categorically refused to accept Tatarescu's proposal, but implied that a meeting of such kind could happen in the future.

Senior Assistant to the Director of the Political Department of Allied Control Commission

S.DANGULOV

[1]. Copies sent to A. Vyshinsky. V. Vinogradov. to the Press Department of the NKID, the IV European Department, to the files. Resolutions of the Text: "To Comrade Pavlov. Inform Dangulov that we need to maintain connections and rel[ations] with Tatarescu. A. Vyshinsky. 19.1," "Will be carried out in person. A. Pavlov. 20.1."

[2]. As in the original. Should be Bratianu.