800.00 Summaries/10s: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

1539. MacVeagh has secured another intelligence report concerning the Yugoslav situation, which confirms and amplifies previous information sent to you on this situation. It is stated that the people of Serbia proper are more concerned with internal problems than with the war against Germany and that while Mihailovic is technically fighting against the Germans as well as the Partisans, practically all operations are confined to attacks upon the latter element. While Mihailovic states that he will, at the proper moment, order a general attack against the Germans, he apparently is conserving his strength for use in possible post-war civil strife. Serbian hatred of England is becoming intense, largely as a result of a prevalent belief that England is selling Yugoslavia to the Russians. America, for the time being, is still popular. While there is extreme devotion to the King, the Government in exile is held in little esteem.

MacVeagh has just been informed that the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, has transmitted an order directing that all members of the Allied Military Mission to Mihailovic be withdrawn. This order is applicable to the remaining American member of the Mission.

During a conversation between MacVeagh and the Soviet Ambassador to Yugoslavia,55 the latter stigmatized the Yugoslav Government as stupid, but denied reports that Moscow was attempting to secure its resignation. The Ambassador maintained that Soviet policy is identical to ours in that the Government is recognized, but military support is given to all elements actively fighting the enemy. He explained recent Soviet press attacks on the Pouritch Government as mere opinion similar to privately expressed views in the American [Page 1352] press. He stated that he believed that the Yugoslav Government must eventually give way since it refused to face facts and was preoccupied with questions of ideology. He maintained that the Partisan movement is composed of Serbs as well as Croats and Slovenes and added that the Soviet Government had definite proof of Mihailovic’s cooperation with the enemy. When the Serbians learned of this it would be impossible for the government to return unless supported by Allied bayonets. During this same conversation the Soviet Ambassador stated his belief that Turkey should enter the war at this time since Turkish neutrality was no longer of any use to the Allies. The Soviet Ambassador appeared to be very anxious to learn whether any large scale operations in the Balkans were under consideration by the American or British Governments.

Stettinius
  1. Nikolay Vasilyevich Novikov.