740.00119 Control (Italy)/4–345

The British Embassy to the Department of State


The problem of the Military administration of certain disputed areas in SACMED’s theatre, especially Venezia Giulia, has been under examination in London and Washington for some time.

Mr. Eden has received Mr. Stettinius’ reply to the note which the British Foreign Secretary handed to him and to M. Molotov at the Crimean Conference.

[Here follows substance of note based on telegram 1972, March 14, 11 p.m., to London, printed on page 1114.]

The United Kingdom Government welcomes this proposal and is anxious that the precise form which the Allied Military Government might take in this area should be examined by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Field Marshal Alexander has expressed the view, which Mr. Eden entirely endorses, that any solution of this problem, which raises such important political as well as military issues, depends on prior agreement between the United Kingdom, United States and Soviet Governments. Mr. Eden therefore does not want at this stage to rule out any possible solution of this problem, and is anxious that the Combined Civil Affairs Committee of the Combined Chiefs of Staff should examine all the different plans which the British members have now been instructed to put forward.

As soon as the Combined Chiefs of Staff have expressed their opinion, it is proposed that the political representatives of the United Kingdom, United States and Soviet Governments should discuss this question in the light of that opinion and having regard to the note which Mr. Eden circulated at the Crimean Conference,78 in order to reach agreement on a solution which could then be put in the name of the three Governments to the Yugoslav and Italian Governments. If there were to be an early meeting of Foreign Ministers this would be the best forum in which to deal with this important question but, as an early decision is clearly necessary, it will hardly be possible to wait for the meeting of Foreign Secretaries after San Francisco. Failing that, this question might suitably be handled by European Advisory Commission, but in that case a special understanding between the Governments would be necessary in order to ensure that members of European Advisory Commission were authorized to discuss it without delay. If Mr. Stettinius agrees, Mr. Eden would suggest [Page 1119] that the United Kingdom and United States Governments, as responsible for conducting operations in the Mediterranean theatre, should address, in due course, a joint invitation to the Soviet Government on lines suggested above.

  1. Apparently reference is to British proposal of February 10, 1945, at Yalta. For text, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 888.