The Ambassador in Italy ( Page ) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received January 15—2:15 p.m.]
2538. My 2537.18 Two reports just received from quite different sources. One from Captain Brodie, British Army and member of British Mission to Montenegro, who left Montenegro on the 9th show that conditions there are exceedingly grave, that the Serbians feeling themselves backed by French authorities there have occupied militarily Montenegro, dispersing Montenegrin revolutionists who rose in revolution about the 3rd and 4th demanding the withdrawal of Serbian troops from Montenegro and demanding occupation of Montenegro by Inter-Allied troops who would guarantee free expression of Montenegro’s will in an untrammeled elective or referendum. Radovich the representative of so-called Montenegrin administration is declared to be in Serbian pay and is working for the complete annihilation of Montenegrin independence. The French General Venel who is apparently supporting this side strongly stopped the American and the Italian troops who had been ordered by the Italian commander to Cetinje in response to appeal of the Montenegrin insurgent party declaring that none but Serbian and French troops should occupy Montenegro.
The Montenegrin insurgent forces appear to have been dispersed after a collision in which several hundred men one side or the other are reported to have been killed, some returning to their homes, others seeking refuge in Albania or in places under the Italian flag, but [Page 372]all are armed with rifles and are reported as declaring that Mom tenegrin independence will be preserved if it takes 500 years. Captain Brodie informs me that although previous to these collisions with the Serbians there was little sympathy with the idea of restoring the Montenegrin dynasty, since the fighting, certain change is discernible in their attitude.
Full reports follow by pouch tonight.19 Unless something be done very soon the situation there may become irremediable. Paris informed.