760h.68/7–2645: Telegram

No. 1078
The Ambassador in Italy ( Kirk ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

3047. When we were in Belgrade on July 18 British Ambassador2 at dinner with Shantz informed us that he had been instructed by ForOff to make strong representations to Yugo Govt with regard to propaganda of Belgrade radio, Yugo press and “inflammatory statements of responsible Yugo statesmen” on questions of Greek Yugo frontier and Venezia Giulia. Stevenson stated he had been instructed to seek an audience with Marshal Tito on Axis [this] subject.

We have just seen two telegrams from British Ambassador Belgrade to FonOff reporting Stevenson’s conversations with Tito on this subject. After having heard Stevenson’s complaints, Tito replied that insofar as his personal declarations were concerned he felt that he was obliged to keep Yugo people informed as to developments in international position of Yugo. He added that Yugo propaganda in regard to Greek Yugo frontier was in retaliation to inflammatory attacks of Greek radio and press against Yugo. Tito went on to say that insofar as Yugo propaganda campaign re Venezia Giulia was involved British press was largely to blame and cited specifically articles in “Nineteenth Century” [and] “Time and Tide”.

British Ambassador stated he could not accept this argument and suggested that it would be most desirable if Yugo Govt should settle any difficulties with Greek Govt by direct negotiation.

Tito agreed to this suggestion and said he was ready to proceed at once with conversations to this end.

British Ambassador’s message on this subject concluded with statement that he was not optimistic that Yugo press would change its present line.

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  1. A report on the British representations described in this message was included in telegram No. 113 of July 24 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–2445).
  2. R. C. Skrine Stevenson.