Truman Papers

No. 562
Marshal Stalin to President Truman 1

Personal and secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to President H. S. Truman.

In spite of the fact that the Yugoslav Government has accepted the proposal of the American and British Governments2 regarding the region of Istria—Trieste, negotiations in Trieste,3 as it is evident, have reached a dead end. This can be explained, principally, by the fact that representatives of the Allied Command on the Mediterranean Sea do not want to take into consideration even the slightest suggestions of the Yugoslavs, who should be credited with the liberation of this territory from German invaders where, in addition to that, prevails a Yugoslav population. Such a situation cannot be considered satisfactory from the point of view of the Allies.

Not wishing to aggravate relations I have not mentioned until now in our correspondence about the behavior of Field Marshal Alexander, but now it is necessary to stress that it is impossible to agree that in these negotiations should be used the arrogant tone which is sometimes [Page 847] used by Field Marshal Alexander in respect to the Yugoslavs. It is impossible to agree that Field Marshal Alexander in an official public address allowed a comparison of Marshal Tito to Hitler and Mussolini. Such a comparison is unjust and insulting for Yugoslavia.

The tone of the ultimatum of the declaration which was presented to the Yugoslav Government by Anglo-American representatives on June 2,4 was also unexpected for the Soviet Government. How is it possible to believe that such methods will provide strong positive results?

All this makes me draw your attention to this situation. I, as before, hope that in respect to Trieste—Istria the just Yugoslav interests will be satisfied, especially bearing in mind the circumstance that in the principal question the Yugoslavs met the Allies half way.

  1. Russian original, accompanied by this translation, transmitted by the Soviet Embassy, Washington. Stalin sent a parallel message on the same date to Churchill. See Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, p. 368.
  2. The reference is apparently to the Belgrade agreement of June 9.
  3. i. e., the negotiations with Morgan referred to in document No. 559, footnote 1.
  4. Not printed.