740.00119 Potsdam/7–1745

No. 1201
The Secretary General of the British Delegation (Hayter) to the First Secretary of Embassy in Portugal (Cannon)
F. O. 11 (1)

Dear Cannon, It is very good news that you are here as the expert on South-east Europe. I am supposed to be the same for our delegation, and we must get together soon.

Meanwhile I enclose a copy of a telegram from our Ambassador at Belgrade,1 which you may find interesting. The reference in the last paragraph is to the proposal, which your Embassy has I think also reported,2 that this meeting should issue a reminder that the Three Powers expect the Tito-Šubašić agreement3 to be fully carried out in the near future. I know that Mr. Eden is very anxious to get this through, and perhaps we could meet and discuss it. Could you give me a ring?

Yours very sincerely,

W G Hayter
Telegram From His Majesty’s Ambassador at Belgrade, 11th July

It was recently reported in Belgrade press that it was intended to hold in the near future a congress of national liberation fronts of various states in Yugoslav Federation. The aim of the congress would be to weld these national liberation fronts into a national front for the whole of Yugoslavia.

I heard this morning that Dr. Šubašić had been invited to become a member of Steering Committee of this congress and I took an opportunity to question him about it in the course of private conversation this afternoon.
He confirmed to me that he had received such an invitation. He had, however, not yet returned a reply. He intended to discuss the matter with M. Kardelj and to take the line that if he were being invited as an individual he could not accept. This would mean that he was merely being used as a figurehead. If however he were permitted first to call a meeting of the executive of Croat Peasant Party and secure a mandate to represent the party he would then be in a position to take a constructive part in the congress. A possible alternative might be that he should meet Dr. Maček, ascertain his views and seek a mandate of some kind from him.
The idea at the back of Dr. Šubašić’s mind in this is that a national front which would be a coalition of the parties each having a separate existence, would probably be the best solution of the country’s political problems; even though a dominant position in such a coalition was held by the Communist party.
As he sees the position the present régime have all physical power in their hands. A national front is therefore inevitable. The only alternative to it would be civil war. This would only be possible with foreign armed assistance which is out of the question. It is equally inevitable that a transitory role in political life of this country will be played for some time at any rate by the Communist party. The problem therefore is to prevent the national front from becoming a thinly disguised one-party régime. This could be done by creating it as a true coalition of the parties even though Communist party’s influence in the coalition was preponderant.
It will be interesting to see whether Dr. Šubašić terms for his participation in the congress are accepted by Marshal Tito. If so it may be that some kind of a coalition will emerge from proposed congress. Kardelj assured him that after the congress complete freedom of the press and of political activity would be granted. The present idea is that the congress should precede meeting of broadened AVNOJ.
It is Dr. Šubašić’s impression that at the moment leaders of this regime are manoeuvring and waiting for the results of the Big Three meeting. He is therefore doubly anxious that some kind of a reminder about TitoŠubašić agreement should issue from it.