740.0011 EW/4–2445: Telegram

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

380. Your 1704, April 24, 8 p.m. Since our present plans for the interim administration of Venezia Giulia will require Tito’s cooperation (unless his troops are to be ejected by force in the post hostilities period) we are inclined to agree with the British position and give Tito our cooperation during the operational phase. Since it is anticipated that Fiume and the Istrian Peninsula will be occupied by Yugoslav forces with or without Allied assistance the Allies will be in a better position to request the withdrawal of Tito’s forces from Italian territory in the post hostilities period if we have continued to support Yugoslav operations on the present scale in the air and by sea.

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In our opinion if we give reasonable support to Tito’s operations against Istria in good time and grace, we will have denied:

Any possibility of later charges that the Allies refused to cooperate with Tito in military operations against the common enemy and
Any future claim that Istria and possibly the whole Venezia Giulia were liberated without Anglo-American assistance and represent wholly a Yugoslav achievement.