Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William A. Crawford
CRAWFORD: And we couldn't have singled out Romania anyway at this juncture. Freeman apparently had a trip lined up to spend a few weeks in the Soviet Union, and a few days in Poland, and then he was going to allot three days to Romania. So he did so, and he spent three very active days in which he was warmly received by the Romanians. And I think he was most impressed by what he saw there. In fact, he told me after it was all over that he had been more impressed by the realistic manner in which the Romanians were approaching the reorganization of their agriculture than by anything that he'd seen in the Soviet Union or in Poland. Be that as it may, the visit did pay off in a number of other ways. The Romanians had recognized the importance of it even before he arrived. After all, this was the first officer of cabinet rank ever to pay a visit to Romania since the war. So several days before his arrival, they stopped their jamming of our RFE [Radio Free Europe] and VOA [Voice of America] broadcasts.
Q: Both of them.
CRAWFORD: Both of them. And didn't resume them from that point on; nor have they done so since. So this was a tipoff to us right away that as a gesture of goodwill, they were prepared to take some positive steps in our direction in the hope that we might reciprocate. And although Freeman spent his two or three days traveling around the country, the political significance of the visit really lay in what happened in the course of his talk with Dej, which occurred on the evening of the final day of the visit.
Q: Let me ask you, there's a fairly extensive memorandum of the conversation in the file so I don't think that we need to go into the details of the Freeman-Dej talk, but if you would perhaps give us a little local color of that meeting. It was at the Eforia villa, wasn't it, in the evening?
CRAWFORD: That's right. It was at the Eforia villa, which was Dej's summer home not far from Constanta on the Black Sea coast. The entire Politburo was there, and the details, you say, you have. The local color is what you'd like mostly?
Q: Yes. What sort of people were these and how were they gettinalong?
CRAWFORD: Well, they were Romanians. I don't mean to be trite, buthat says a good deal.
Q: Well, what does it say?