740.00119 Control (Italy)/2–2445: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, to the Secretary of State

680. Re my 609, February 20. We have now learned that during Alexander’s talks with Tito on Venezia Giulia he informed the latter that as result of Allied preliminary planning it seemed essential to occupy and establish Allied Military Government within 1939 frontier to maintain Allied Forces in Austria. SAC explained this would not prejudice boundary considerations in final peace settlement. Tito accepted idea of AMG provided his civil administration (already established in areas in question) would remain and he agreed it should be responsible to AMG. He foresaw chaos unless his civil authorities were allowed to function. Tito commented also that if object of Allied occupation was to protect lines of communication between Trieste and Austria he did not consider Allied occupation of whole Istrian peninsula necessary and offered use of communication facilities through Ljubljana which he said were well within Yugoslav frontier. SAC said his remarks were purely exploratory [Page 1107] and matter would have to be referred to CCS before further discussion. Tito stated he expected Germans to make a stand in the mountains of Austria where his 200,000 Yugoslavs would be very useful to the Allies. He also suggested Yugoslav occupation of a part of Austria following German defeat. Tito added that he would need 100,000 sets of clothing and 10,000 trucks to which SAC replied there was some prospect of aid in food, clothing and petrol but little hope of providing trucks already short Allied forces. Tito said Russians had to date furnished 800 trucks, food, ammunition and artillery.

Arrangements have been completed by Alexander for Partisan army staff and Balkan Air Force to make a detailed air support plan for operations on the Yugoslav coast and his naval representative has begun conversations on naval matters with Partisan representatives.