860h.01/7–1045: Telegram

No. 554
The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Acting Secretary of State 1
top secret

255. When Read of OWI paid farewell call on Milan Grol July 7, Grol asked him to repeat to me his remarks, substance of which follows:

Grol has been talking frankly to the Communist leaders and 10 days ago gave Tito a memo concluding with statement that he will remain in govt only if prompt agreement is reached on all of following related matters:

Enlargement of AVNOJ.
Basic law covering freedom of press and speech, elections, civil security, etc., to be enacted by new parliament.
Character of new regime.

Grol considers this formula of major importance and is sure from daily talks with Šutej, Prodanović, Kosanović and others that he has united support of all non-Communist parties. Should the govt enlarge AVNOJ without accepting his formula Grol and the others will resign.

Grol then said Communists were preparing great popular front congress for late July (Embtel 252, July 92) and that Šubašić, Kosanović and Branko Cubrilović were nominated as steering committee. First two have not accepted or rejected nomination. Šubašić was astounded at his nomination. Grol thinks it vital that Šubašić reject it, otherwise Stalin would have fine weapon to use in discussion on Yugo, and Šubašić will betray his party, his liberal friends, and himself.

Grol said that after his return from US Šubašić confessed that his policy had been tragic failure and upon returning from Zagreb said he could see that his policies had betrayed all Croatia.

Grol said that Tito decided to recall Martinović from Cairo and that Šubašić in this case has defied Tito by refusing to sign the order which has been on his desk for a week.

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Grol also said that the Russians have several groups going about Yugo to survey public opinion and determine strength of Communist sentiment. He feels that Russia may learn that the roots of Communism are real low and “may be willing to accept a compromise”.

Grol hoped US newspapers would begin asking why AVNOJ has not been enlarged and would let attitude of opposition become known without revealing source of information or precise formula, emphasizing political parties and govt’s failure to deal with national leaders. (Sent Dept; rptd Caserta).

Read reported Grol in far better spirits than formerly. He spoke of the Communists with greatest contempt. His attitude was that of a man who has finally made his decision and begun to act. He repeatedly said he was no longer alone.

  1. The gist of this message was included in an unnumbered communication of July 13 sent by Grew to Byrnes by pouch (file No. 740.00119 Potsdam/7–1345).
  2. Not printed.