740.00119 Control (Italy)/7–3145
Prime Minister Tito and the
Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs (Šubašić) to President Truman1
Excellency[:] We take the liberty of addressing ourselves to you in a matter which presses heavily upon our peoples, with the conviction that it will draw your attention.
On the 17th of July of this year, the government of Democratic Federative Yugoslavia through their Minister of Foreign Affairs sent a verbal note no. 1938 to the Embassies of Great Britain and the United States of America in Belgrade. The content of this note concerns the Civil Administration of that part of Julian Venice which is now under Allied Military Administration.
In the enclosed note we particularly stressed that the Agreement of the 9th of June, 1945, which was signed in Belgrade by the Ambassadors of the United States of America and Great Britain2 and by the Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs, contains in its 3rd article the following clause:
“Use will be made of any Yugoslav civil administration which is already set up and which in the view of the Supreme Allied Commander is working satisfactorily”.
This clause of the said Agreement rests upon the fact that the territory which is now under Allied Military Administration, is liberated territory, inhabited mostly by a population which has given proof of its limitless devotion to the Allied cause, and which is not merely occupied territory. The elevated principles proclaimed by the great Allies during the course of the war not only command the respect of democratic institutions in the liberated regions but also the active help of the Allies in order to create and, where they already exist, to develop these institutions.
During the sanguinary four years struggle against Fascism in which, in addition to the Slovene inhabitants, Italians from Julian Venice participated in great numbers, democratic institutions arose and developed and attained their highest degree only when Fascism was [Page 1215]crushed and the people had full opportunity of building up their democratic administration.
With various measures undertaken by the Allied Military Authority, the democratic development of Julian Venice was brought to a stand-still. In abolishing some democratic institutions, reinstating the legal order based on laws which were in force up to the 8th of September, 1943, the decrees issued by the Allied Military Authorities resulted in the substitution of an administration based upon democratic principles, by a regime in which fascist laws, fascist institutions and fascist administrators prevail.
The Allied Military Authority in Julian Venice, inasmuch as it was not satisfied with the work of particular organs of the democratic institutions and democratic procedures of changing those organs and, with the approval of the people, of appointing to corresponding posts such persons as would most closely collaborate with the Allied Military Administration.
Therefore, we propose that democratic elections be carried out in this part of Julian Venice which is under Allied Administration, whereby the organs of a civil administration would be chosen in accordance with the democratic aspirations of the people.
It is with the greatest confidence that we await the Peace Conference, which is to bring the final decision on the question of Julian Venice. But, in the meantime, interpreting the wishes of the people concerned—Slovenes as well as Italians—we should desire that to this afflicted, heroic people be returned those liberties which they won through their own sacrifices, so that they may, pending the final decision of the Peace Conference, live under a national administration of their own choosing and creation, in close collaboration with the Allied Military Administration.
We beg your Excellency to take this matter into consideration and bring such a solution as will be satisfactory to the people of Julian Venice.3
Please accept [etc.]
Dr Ivan Šubašić
- Enclosed in despatch No. 86 from the Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Secretary of State. This message was also summarized in a telegram from Shantz to the Acting Secretary of State. See document No. 1209.↩
- Richard C. Patterson, Jr., and R. C. Skrine Stevenson, respectively.↩
- No reply was made to this communication until after the close of the Berlin Conference.↩
- i. e., the
conference which negotiated the Duino agreement of June 20,
i, document No. 561 and footnote 2 to document No. 560.↩
- For the text of proclamation No. 1, see The Allied Military Government Gazette (published in Trieste by Allied Military Government, 13 Corps, Venezia Giulia), No. 1, September 15, 1945, p. 3, and Department of State Bulletin, vol xvi, p. 1265.↩
- Not printed.↩