860H.01/685: Telegram

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

Yugoslav Series 19. See my Yugoslav 17, January 25, 7 p.m.36 and previous related messages. Maclean has now reported from Tito’s headquarters that Tito “expressed and certainly showed gratification” over the receipt of Mr. Churchill’s letter but that while he promised “to avoid further attacks on King Peter as he had no wish to embarrass the Allies whose position he understood” he “showed no inclination to discuss politics” and said that the thing which now matters is “kill Germans”.

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Ambassador Stevenson has replied to Maclean inquiring whether he expects to get any further reaction from Tito and adding that as His Majesty’s Government attaches importance to the establishment of contact between Tito and the King it is desirable to know whether there is “any indication that Tito might be prepared to agree to this”.

The Ambassador believes and has so told the Foreign Office that Tito’s reaction so far indicates that “we must take it that his attitude toward the King will remain openly non-committal and covertly hostile” and he has suggested (1) that if Maclean’s further reply substantiates this the Foreign Office should propose to the United States and the Soviets that they agree on a common attitude as set forth in his telegram to the Foreign Office No. 194 of December 12 which I quoted in full in my airgram No. A–5 of December 27, noon37 and (2) that the British Government then make a public disavowal of Michailovitch including the statement that the British liaison officers are being withdrawn from him in such terms as to make it clear that while the decision to take such action was necessarily a British one it was taken after consultation with Britain’s principal allies.

MacVeagh
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  2. Not printed.