740.0011 European War 1939/8450: Telegram

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

110. I received your 24, February 14, 7 p.m., on Saturday evening29 during the course of an official concert at which the Prime Minister and other members of the Government were present. During the intermission I requested to have a brief interview with the Prime Minister but this request was refused without reference to Cvetkovic. Undoubtedly he had given orders to grant no interviews to foreign diplomatic representatives.

On Sunday morning I spoke personally to the Minister of the Court requesting an interview with the Prince Regent in order to acquaint him with the text of an important telegram containing a message from the President of the United States. I was told that a message from the Yugoslav Minister at Washington had already been received but that my request for an audience would be submitted to the Prince. Yesterday I was informed by a court official that the Prince was “so busy” as to make it almost impossible for him to receive me. I replied that I considered it vital to have an audience with the Prince especially as I had not been able to see the Prime Minister and I hoped that I would not be obliged to telegraph my Government that it was not possible to approach the Chief of State. Last evening I was informed that the Prince would “do the impossible” and receive me today.

I mention the foregoing in such detail so as to give the Department an idea of the great secrecy with which present diplomatic activities of the Yugoslav Government are shrouded and their obvious reluctance to be questioned regarding the visit of Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to Germany. I shall of course telegraph further as soon as I have been received by the Prince.

  1. February 15.