860h.00/7–2745: Telegram

No. 1203
The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Acting Secretary of State1

secret
us urgent

319. After week of rumors that Šubašić, Grol and Šutej would resign, Cabinet meeting was called Wednesday2 and Ministers were presented with four new laws for their approval. One concerns [Page 1210]enlargement of AVNOJ, another Constituent Assembly, third elections and fourth voting procedure. Šubašić countered by proposing a committee to study the laws and make recommendations to Cabinet. After initial opposition Tito accepted proposal and immediate Cabinet crisis was averted. Members of Committee are Kardelj Chairman and Grol, Kosanović, Šutej, Qnol [sic] Hebrang and Prodanović.

Šutej told Fraleigh today that Committee has worked until after midnight for two days on first problem[,] enlargement of AVNOJ. Problems posed by new law are to find 125 new members and apportion them among political parties of National Liberation Front. Enlargement program cannot be carried out from Belgrade alone and Šutej proposes to go to Zagreb tomorrow to look for candidates. Meanwhile, he says Communists want lion’s share and will agree to nothing which will reduce their power, the crux of the matter in final analysis. Committee’s activities will probably force postponement of AVNOJ meeting another ten days.

Upon rumors of resignations of minor Cabinet members like himself Šutej said key to opposition is Šubašić who signed the basic agreement with Tito. Šubašić told British Ambassador regarding rumors he would resign that eve no [of?] political battle is not time for resignations. Šutej says Šubašić is not strong enough to bring about any important changes unless western powers back him in demanding fulfillment of Yalta Agreement and granting of peoples freedoms.

For moment activities of new committee leave political situation open. Crisis will probably recur in about ten days. Meanwhile, Šutej says everyone expects an announcement from Potsdam for they are sure Yugo is on conference agenda. Result of British elections has increased confusion in ranks of non-Communists.

Shantz
  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 157 of July 30 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–3045).
  2. July 25.