765.75/448: Telegram

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

69. Have just seen Minister for Foreign Affairs who informed me as follows:

Italian Government informed Belgrade 4 days ago that conversations with Albanian Government had reached impasse because of refusal of latter to accept the terms which they themselves had proposed and that military action might be necessary to prevent injury to Italian interests. On evening of April 6, Ciano informed Yugoslav Minister that occupation would take place at dawn the following day and gave three guarantees as mentioned in my 65, April 7, 9 p.m. Subsequent assurances have been given by the Italian Government that after Zog has been expelled Italian Government will consult with Yugoslav Government regarding form of government to be established and regarding measures to guarantee Yugoslav interests. No troops have been moved to Albanian border and full confidence is placed in Italian assurances.

I asked Cincar Markovic35 for his interpretation of promise to “guarantee Yugoslav interests”. He replied that it referred to such interests as a neighboring state would have, such as inviolability of frontier. In reply to my question as to whether Greece had received a similar guarantee he replied in the negative.

Officially inspired statement appeared in the press today along the lines of remarks of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

  1. Aleksandar Cincar Marković, Yugoslav Minister for Foreign Affairs after the resignation in the early part of 1939 of Stoyadinovitch.