860h.01/105: Telegram

The Special Representative ( House ) to the Secretary of State

89. For the President. Italian affairs. If you decide to recognize the National Council of Zagreb as representative of the Serbo-Croat-Slovene nation, or the territory formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy it would be well to assure the [Jugo-Slavs] in a very guarded way that the question of their territorial aspirations is a matter to be decided by the peace conference. This action is advised in order to reassure them in the face of the Italian occupation of the Dalmatian coast along the line of the convention of London,1 against which I protested and consented only upon the explicit promise that this territory should have the same status as the territory to be occupied under the terms of the German armistice. It is to the interest of Italy also that the conditions of the armistice be not made the pretext for presaging [prejudging] this most difficult territorial question. United States now [alone] is in a position to speak caution since France and Great Britain are committed by the Pact of London. A statement that its frontiers would be determined in the interests of all concerned and in accordance with principles accepted by all the Allies would be reassuring to all small nationalities who are now in a state high tension.

Edward House
  1. Great Britain, Cmd. 671, Misc. No. 7 (1920): Agreement Between France, Russia, Great Britain and Italy, Signed at London, April 26, 1915.