740.0011 European War 1939/3759: Telegram

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

249. Prince Paul28 informed me this afternoon that he has asked for the agrément of Milan Gavrilovic, leader of the Agrarian Party, as Minister to the Soviet Union. He referred to my conversation of yesterday with Smiljanic29 and said that he did not attach too much importance to Smiljanic’s comments regarding anti-British and anti-French propaganda being disseminated by Communists here. He expressed the opinion that if Germany and Italy should be victorious against the Allies they will then attack Russia. He expressed apprehension regarding Russia’s aims in the Balkans and said that for this reason he could no longer delay establishing formal diplomatic relations.

He said he had no information as to whether or when Turkey would enter the war.

He said that all the telegrams which he had received from Yugoslav consular and diplomatic officers in Italy referred to the singular lack of enthusiasm with respect to Italy’s declaration of war30 and that there was virtually no anti-Ally feeling evident except as officially manufactured.

Repeated to Rome.

  1. First Regent of Yugoslavia.
  2. Miloye Smilyanich, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia.
  3. June 10, 1940.