860h.00/33: Telegram

The Special Representative ( House ) to the Secretary of State

120. Secret for the President. Doctor Korosec, President of the Jugo-Slav Provisional Government at Agram, called on me today [Page 298]and expressed apprehension lest owing to the want of sympathy between the Jugo-Slav and the occupying Italian troops, conflicts might ensue. He expressed the fear that political agents might even attempt to provoke such conflicts. He consequently requested the American Government to send American troops to occupy strategic points and points where trouble is feared, in common with the Italians. As Signor Orlando made an identical request of me less than a week ago, asking that American troops be sent to occupy towns and [villages] in former Austro-Hungarian territory, where half of the population was Italian and the balance Slav, I feel that the request of Doctor Korosec merits your earnest consideration.

Doctor Korosec said that he ventured to make this request because he and his countrymen regarded the President as a liberator, and the United States as their second fatherland, owing to the large immigration of recent years.

As events are moving rapidly, if any steps are taken they should be taken promptly. I ought to say that even with your approval it will be necessary for me to take matter up with both the British and French Governments as they might have objections.

Edward House