740.0011 European War 1939/6373: Telegram

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

483. The Greek Minister told Bonbright last evening that during the day the Yugoslav Government had received assurances from Bulgaria that the latter would not move against Greece. Rosetti assumed that this decision was in line with Germany’s wishes.

Rosetti was still in a highly nervous state and expressed some dissatisfaction with the slowness of British aid. He said that he had seen the British Minister earlier in the day and had urged upon him the importance of immediately sending tangible aid, preferably in the form of planes to bolster up Greek morale and show that in this case the British guarantee really meant something. Otherwise he felt that there might be a collapse inside of a week followed by a change of government in Greece.

Later in the evening a high official of the Foreign Office confirmed the fact that assurances of Bulgarian neutrality had been received. He added that the British made two démarches yesterday, one to Sofia warning the Bulgarians to remain quiet, and the second here asking that Yugoslavia help the Greeks in every way possible. Most Yugoslav diplomatic missions abroad were reporting the opinion, he said, that the conflict between Greece and Italy would be localized, but news from Moscow attributed “sinister motives” to Germany, the thought [Page 553]being that when the Italians drive through to Salonika they will join up with the Bulgarians supported by the Germans.

The situation remains quiet here.

Repeated to Rome, Sofia, Athens, Ankara.

Lane