740.00119 Control (Italy)/3–1545: Telegram
Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, to the Secretary of State
[Received March 16—1:02 a.m.]
982. Re my 786 of March 2. From British sources we have learned that the question of Venezia Giulia is being considered in the highest quarters in London and that four possible lines of action are receiving attention:
- Proposals more or less as outlined in my 800 of March 370 (Naf 872).
- Whole province to have Anglo-American Government which will involve disarming and withdrawal in that area of Yugoslav Partisan forces.
- Anglo-American Military Government to be under a special military governor who will be responsible to SACMED but to be advised by a council which will include United States, United Kingdom, Soviet, Italian and Yugoslav Government representatives.
- Division to be made into two zones of operation on basis of
- The suggested “Alexander line” (Robertson71 line).
- A line suggested by Foreign Office, which is somewhat west of the Alexander line, and is [its?] prediction of ultimate boundary.
In London weight of opinion is inclined towards use of the Alexander–Robertson line. It is not expected that a definite statement of policy will be made for at least 3 weeks.
Following points have been made from the G–572 aspect; if the province is to be administered separately it will require detailed staff coordination and planning with Italian and Yugoslav authorities of a special police force, a military government staff larger than hitherto planned, and policy on legal and financial aspects in relation to currently existing administration.
London opinion is contrary to Allied Commission’s contention that British and Americans are legally committed to AMG in all the province as a part of Italy. At same time stress has been laid on need to avoid precipitating an Italian Government crisis or unrest in Italy by agreeing to a de facto Yugoslav occupation on a long term basis. Therefore course 3 is a modification of proposal in Naf 872 (my 800 of March 3) although differing in that it separates the provinces from Allied Commission and establishes a military governor directly responsible to SACMED.
London considers course 3 desirable in spite of detailed planning required. Local Yugoslav or Italian administration would remain intact and military governor would have Yugoslav or patriot forces under his command.
The British anticipate that course 3 will be rejected by CCS73 and that the Alexander (Robertson) line will be selected in preference to the Foreign Office line, and that balance between courses 3 and 4 will depend on possible decision to hold the whole province in suspense.