The Minister in Yugoslavia (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

No. 585

Sir: In the Legation’s Despatch No. 501 of April 9, 1936, I reported that in discussing the possibility of concluding a Naturalization Treaty between the United States and Yugoslavia, I was told at the Foreign Office that before giving a definite reply it desired to consult the Yugoslav Minister in Washington. As Mr. Fotitch is now in Belgrade I inquired of him a few days ago if he knew how the matter was progressing. He told me that he strongly favored the conclusion of such a treaty and had discussed the matter in this sense with Foreign Office officials who were also favorable, but that he anticipated opposition to the treaty from the Minister of War.26

Yesterday I called on the Chief of the Diplomatic Section of the Foreign Office to inquire whether the matter was making any progress. He said that a report favoring the treaty had been received from the Juridical Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that that Ministry was in favor of the treaty; but he also feared the opposition of the military elements. He said that the Ministry of War would shortly be approached on the subject but that it would have to be done in a most tactful and delicate way in order not to have the door to discussion definitely closed by a flat refusal. Mr. Fotitch has had several conversations at the Foreign Office concerning the treaty and told me that he had pointed out, as I had done myself, the injury done to Yugoslavia by naturalized American citizens who have been held for military service in Yugoslavia, upon their return to the United States where, as a rule, they carry on a violent propaganda against the country of their birth.

I shall continue to bring the matter of a Naturalization Treaty to the attention of the Foreign Office from time to time, but I do not anticipate a definite decision at an early date.

Respectfully yours,

Charles S. Wilson
  1. Gen. Lyubomir Marich.