611.60H31/183: Telegram

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

283. My 276, September 18, 6 p.m. Prince Paul8 this afternoon spontaneously brought up the question of increasing Yugoslav trade with the United States. I told him frankly that I personally was not disposed to initiate negotiations in the face of the lack of interest which the Foreign Office has shown as evidenced by their failure to furnish us with figures regarding the import of automobiles and trucks for the first 6 months of the year. I said furthermore that conversations with Pilja are apt to be theoretical and long drawn out and that I could ill-afford the time during this crucial period if there was no possibility of reaching an agreement. The Prince said that he would appreciate it as a personal favor to him if I were to receive Pilja and endeavor to negotiate as it is highly essential for Yugoslavia to find markets in the United States for its products. He said that he would see that suitable instructions were given to Pilja to get in touch with me.

Should I be approached by Pilja I feel that I cannot in view of the Prince’s interest decline to initiate negotiations. Unless instructed to the contrary therefore, I shall proceed in accordance with the Department’s instruction 133, August 29.

  1. Member of the Yugoslav Council of Regency.