The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)


The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the British Ambassador and acknowledges the receipt of the Embassy’s note of yesterday’s date1 referring to an aide-mémoire of January 201 on the subject of the negotiations now in course at London for the establishment of a unified Yugoslav Government. The Embassy requests the observations of this Government with respect to the course which the British Government now proposes to follow, in the event that King Peter fails to declare his acceptance of the Tito-Subasic agreement before midday today.

The substance of the Department’s telegram to Ambassador Patterson of January 18 [17]1 has already been communicated orally to the Embassy. It referred to the general lines of American policy, as had been communicated in greater detail in the Department’s memorandum of December 23, 1944,2 and observed that the real merits of some of the questions connected with the reservations made by King Peter could better be determined if the Government returns to Yugoslavia, and if the diplomatic missions of friendly governments can be established at an early date at Belgrade.

In substance, therefore, the Department is in agreement with the objective under which the Yugoslav Government would return to the country to work together with the various elements within Yugoslavia. When that time comes, the Department would prefer of course, that the regular American diplomatic and consular establishment should accompany or shortly follow the returning Government.

The question has meanwhile arisen as to the attitude of the principal Allied Governments in the event that Dr. Subasic should proceed along the lines of his agreement, notwithstanding the difficulties which arose yesterday evening.

In this connection the Department has examined the Embassy’s aide-mémoire of even date1 reporting (1) that the British Government is not prepared in the present circumstances to recognize a new Yugoslav Government which might be formed by King Peter as a result of yesterday’s events; (2) that it has informed Dr. Subasic this morning that King Peter’s action does not affect the intention of the British Government to see the Tito-Subasic agreement carried out; (3) that for this purpose the British Government is ready to transport him and his Government to Belgrade together with all the Yugoslav [Page 260] leaders who desire to go there; (4) that the British Government is also informing Marshal Tito to this same effect; and (5) that it is the suggestion of the British Government that pending the formation of a united Government in accordance with the Subasic-Tito agreement recognition should not be accorded to any government formed either by King Peter or Marshal Tito alone.

As regards the Embassy’s suggestion that the three principal Allies should agree that it is desirable for the agreement to come into force and should inform Marshal Tito that, if he will concert with Dr. Subasic and his Government to carry out the agreement, the three principal Allies will recognize the united government and accredit ambassadors to the Regency, the Department would observe that it would be difficult for this Government under these conditions to go beyond a provisional representation in Yugoslavia. It is nevertheless the Department’s opinion that some arrangement should be made for such provisional representation at Belgrade in the near future. Assuming that a truly representative administration will be established, with provision for free elections as set forth in the agreement—assurances to this effect being fundamental to the whole agreement —the Department would be prepared to use the regular diplomatic mission for this provisional representation to the interim Government, in order to have facilities for an examination of conditions in Yugoslavia, and consultation with other Governments with regard to the situation then prevailing.

C. W. C[annon]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Ante, pp. 255257.
  5. Not printed.