860H.01/1–1145: Telegram

The Ambassador Near the Yugoslav Government in London (Patterson) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

7. From Ambassador Patterson. Chancellery of Royal Yugoslav Court in connection with present Yugoslav situation has issued following communiqué:

“King Peter II of Yugoslavia has closely studied draft agreement prepared by Dr. Subasic Prime Minister of Royal Yugoslav Government and by Marshal Tito President of National Liberation Movement of Yugoslavia for solution of pending problems. Faithful to democratic traditions of his forefathers King Peter II approves basic proposals laid down in draft agreement and its amendments whereby future constitution and form of Government of his country shall be determined solely by free decision of peoples of Yugoslavia. The King will accept such a decision but as a constitutional monarch it is his sacred duty to see to it that the people shall be consulted and their freely expressed will given full respect.

King of Yugoslavia wholeheartedly welcomes interest with which the great Allied nations envisage reorganization of postwar Europe. On basis of freely recorded will of its peoples he fully agrees with their established policy that widest possible grouping of democratic parties and movements from left to right is the only guarantee of really free expression of popular will. He is deeply convinced that same path must be followed in his own country and even more so than in other countries where population is more homogeneous.

In consequence His Majesty has raised two essential objections to agreement in its present form. First concerns suggested form of regency and second the provisions of Article 2 of amendment by which anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation would wield unrestricted legislative power until Constituent Assembly had finished its work. This suggests transfer of power in Yugoslavia to single political group. King Peter believes on contrary that setting up of all-party government comprising every political movement would furnish sole valid guarantee for new and better future in country to which he hopes shortly to return.

King Peter who brought his country into this war on side of his great Allies like whole population of Yugoslavia has followed with keenest sympathy and admiration magnificent prowess of Russian armies under Marshal Stalin. Fraternity with Russia is basic sentiment of Slav peoples and King has the greatest regard for Marshal Stalin whose name has meant so much to the Yugoslav people in their heroic resistance. Peter II R”.1

  1. Churchill informed Roosevelt by telegram No. 888, dated January 14, 1945 (not printed), that King Peter had issued this statement without consulting either the British Government or his own Prime Minister, Šubašić (Roosevelt Papers).