740.0011 European War 1939/7566: Telegram

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

16. My 609, December 31, 11 a.m., 1940,5 and 13, January 9, 6 p.m., 1941. I complained to the Prime Minister6 this morning that some of the strongest passages of the President’s speech of December 29 had been omitted in official Avala news agency reports. I referred specifically to the portions mentioning Germany’s invasion of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Holland, Belgium and France, regardless of non-aggression pacts with those countries and to the passage referring to concentration camps and chains as being the altars of dictatorships. The Prime Minister said that he had twice given orders all of the President’s speeches were to be published in full. In my presence he telephoned to the Chief of the Press Bureau which is responsible only to the Presidency and demanded an explanation. The Prime Minister then informed me that according to the Press Bureau, the Foreign Office had eliminated passages which they thought might be offensive to Hitler.

As to the President’s speech of January 6, the official text of which has just been received, I left a copy with the Prime Minister who said that he had assurances that this had been published in full. We are checking this and will telegraph a report on Monday.7

  1. Not printed.
  2. Dragiša Cvetković.
  3. January 13.