EUR Files

The Assistant Secretary of State ( MacLeish ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Grew )

top secret

You asked me to remind you to speak to the Secretary tomorrow about the inclusion in the forthcoming conversations of a discussion of the problem of provisional governments as, for example, the provisional government to be set up in Yugoslavia. It was suggested at the SCC, as you will recall, that it would be helpful to the formation of a sound world opinion if an agreement could be reached, and a statement issued, to the effect that provisional governments established in liberated areas under war-time conditions are established on the understanding that free elections will be held when elections are possible and that recognition of governments in these areas will depend on the satisfaction of the recognizing powers that such elections have in fact been held.

May I add a word as to my personal conviction that this matter is extremely important. The wave of disillusionment which has distressed us in the last several weeks will be increased if the impression is permitted to get abroad that potentially totalitarian provisional [Page 102] governments are to be set up without adequate safeguards as to the holding of free elections and the realization of the principles of the Atlantic Charter.

Archibald MacLeish

(Copy to Mr. Dunn)