860H.01/432: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in Exile (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

2. Yugoslav Series. My 1, January 4, 7 p.m. On December 31 I discussed with Prime Minister Jovanovitch the points given in your 4 of December 30,13 and again today. He assured me he understood our point of view and was in accord with the main points. As regards Fotitch14 he would at an early date show me the directive as to the political line he should henceforth pursue.

Concerning the retiring Ministers Resident in New York he would shortly issue instructions (a) for Ban Subasich and Duchić to come here for consultations; and (b) for assigning Kosanovitch to some South American post. He thought Duchić would probably also eventually be assigned to a South American post. Meanwhile he earnestly hoped we might help the Government here by giving them friendly counsel to comply with their Government’s instructions. He was apprehensive lest they refuse to comply. Yevtitch would probably be assigned to some post in the Information Center in New York.

Jovanovitch added that while he intended eventually to make the center responsible to the Embassy in Washington in reality as well as [Page 966]in theory, he felt that Fotitch’s retention together with the withdrawal of the Ministers in New York would appear in the eyes of the Croat and Slovene and Serb democrat elements such a victory for Fotitch that it would only provoke their further ire and opposition in other matters of pressing nature, were he to make this move at this point.

As regards Mihailović’s activities, Jovanović said that one should consider his campaign in the light of its three phases: The first phase consisting of Croat action against the Serbs; the second phase consisting of Serb counter-offensive against the Croats (during which time Duchić made his press attacks); the third and present phase consisting of the attack by Communist-led groups against the Serbs led by Mihailović, together with Communist propaganda against all Mihailović stood for.

As regards formulating and sending a political directive to Mihailović, Jovanović said he understood the British and Russians were now in conversations looking towards a formula for coordination of the resistance forces in Yugoslavia. He was hopeful of constructive results and would keep me posted.

[
Biddle
]
  1. Ibid., p. 838.
  2. Constantin Fotitch, Yugoslav Ambassador in the United States.