840.50 UNRRA Personnel/7–645: Telegram

Mr. Joseph E. Jacobs, Foreign Service Officer in Albania, to the Secretary of State

67. My 62, July 3.99 No Albania UNRRA agreement signed and UNRRA staff including Oakley-Hill have left for Italy, Hill to return later when local authorities and UNRRA have so resolved their difficulties that can be signed.

Have learned that Hoxha somewhat chastened over departure UNRRA after discovering certain things re unsatisfactory treatment ML personnel and handling relief matters by his own relief organization and security police.

While Dept has not requested my views, feel in view sacrifices American people are being called upon to make for UNRRA I would be negligent in not reporting as follows.

In view present harvest slightly above normal there exists no need for large quantities foodstuffs except possibly next winter and not then if authorities demobilize some troops for farms. Albania’s relief needs consist chiefly bridge material, cement and trucks to restore transportation facilities. Next are medical and hospital supplies followed by some agricultural machinery and equipment and seed and lastly by certain machinery and equipment to enable refineries at oil fields increase octane content gasoline from 50 to at least 80 so that vehicles supplied by ML and to be supplied by UNRRA can operate without gasoline imports. Foregoing are essentials and UNRRA relief should be restricted mainly to such and no effort or promises made to fill fantastic requests for complete rehabilitation Albania’s economy which UNRRA seems to contemplate.

In field of personnel regardless of reasons it is fact Albanians are more than suspicious of Oakley-Hill as already mentioned my tel under ref.1 If possible therefore at least second ranking person as deputy should be senior American with qualifications comparable to those of Hill and half of staff Americans with qualifications for doing work required. Restrictions of Albanian authorities of number of personnel make it imperative that lack numbers be compensated by [Page 993] selection few energetic workers highly competent their respective fields.2

Sent Dept as 67, rptd Caserta as 76.

  1. Not printed; for summary of a portion of this telegram, see footnote 1, below.
  2. Telegram 62, July 3, 5 p.m., from Tirana, not printed, had reported Jacobs’ inability to understand the reluctance of the Albanian authorities to sign an agreement with UNRRA, in view of the benefits such an agreement would confer. One factor, he felt, was the suspicion with which the Albanian authorities viewed Mr. Oakley-Hill, because of his previous contacts with Abas Kupi, exiled head of the “Legality Movement”, and others considered by the authorities to be strongly hostile to Hoxha and his regime. “Another rumored reason,” said Jacobs, “is supposition that Yugos-Soviet combination do not want Albania to have UNRRA relief and are working behind scenes.” (840.50 UNRRA Personnel/7–345)
  3. Further delay ensued before Hoxha accepted the terms proffered by UNRRA. In the Agreement, signed August 1, the designation “Democratic Government of Albania” was used; for text, see Woodbridge, UNRRA, vol. iii, p. 238. In a letter of August 1 to Hoxha, Mr. Oakley-Hill stipulated that: “The signature of this Agreement between the Administration and the Democratic Government of Albania has no political significance and is entirely without prejudice to the political question of recognition by the member Governments of the Administration.” Hoxha assented to this. For texts of these letters, see ibid., p. 246. For text of UNRRA statement on the occasion of the signing of the UNRRA–Albania Agreement, see Department of State Bulletin, August 5, 1945, p. 179.