860H.01/699: Telegram

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

Yugoslav Series 22. See my Yugoslav 20, January 29, 7 p.m. The following is the gist of Tito’s reply to Mr. Churchill’s letter. The text as received here is somewhat garbled,38 but the sense appears to be clear enough: Tito (1) thanks Churchill for “valuable proof that our people have had British friends and Allies at their side who deeply comprehend our needs and aspirations”, adding that for him personally Prime Minister’s advice is an honor since it expresses his “high acknowledgment of our struggle and efforts to meet National Liberation Army”,39 (2) thanks the Prime Minister for photographs [Page 1343] of the Tehran Conference and says “We will endeavor to keep your friendship”, (3) states that devastated Yugoslavia needs and will need the help of “our great Allies” both during the war and in the peace to follow, (4) expresses the wish “to fulfill to the utmost our duty as an Ally in the common effort against the common enemy” and adds that while appreciating the help already extended by the Allies “we also hope with your help to obtain heavy armament (tanks and aircraft)” which is now indispensable, (5) declares that he “quite understands” Churchill’s engagement to the King and his Government and hopes as far as interest of our peoples allows to avoid unnecessary discomfort and not to cause inconvenience to our Allies in this matter, (6) assures the Prime Minister that the present situation in Yugoslavia is less the result of struggle between individual political groups than of “irresistible desire of all patriots” supported by the “majority of people of Yugoslavia” where at present moment “all our efforts lead to one direction and bigger action” aim being (a) to increase as far as possible the efficiency of resources against handicaps, (b) to bring about the brotherhood and unity of the Yugoslav nation which were non-existent before this war and before the internal disputes which have caused catastrophe and (c) to bring about conditions enabling “the establishment of a state in which all peoples of Yugoslav would feel happy and that is a truly democratic Yugoslav”. Message concludes that Tito is “convinced that you will understand us and that we will have your valuable support in this storm of our peoples” and is signed “yours very sincerely, Tito, Marshal of Yugoslav”. In view of the character of the above Ambassador Stevenson says he may briefly suggest to the Foreign Office that consideration of his further proposals reported in my telegram under reference is now in order.

  1. The full text of Tito’s letter to the Prime Minister, which was received on February 3, is printed in Churchill, Closing the Ring, p. 471.
  2. The official name of the Partisan military force.