875.01/4–745: Telegram

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

308. For Jacobs.

1. The Department would like you to go to Albania for the purpose of conducting a survey of conditions and events in that country with a view to providing this Government with information on which to base its position with regard to Albanian matters in general and, in particular, the request of the controlling authorities there for official recognition as the government of Albania. You should proceed as soon as practicable, accompanied by the members of your staff who are now in Italy (Deptel 292 April 365).

[Here follow instructions relative to the arrangements for the departure of the mission for Tirana.]

7. Because of the informal character of your Mission you will have no official title other than that of Foreign Service Officer and care should be taken to avoid the use of terms or titles suggestive of regular diplomatic or regular consular establishments. For this reason Hoffman will be requested to relinquish during this period his title of Vice Consul.

[Here follow instructions relative to questions of quarters and mode of communications for the mission.]

11. As regards the protection of American interests in Albania you should consider the Department’s A–10 January 1266 as more [Page 19] properly applicable to the later period. The Department is of course anxious to have all steps taken for the protection of American interests, and upon receipt of your recommendations will send separate instructions regarding such services as can appropriately be authorized.

12. The Department does not wish to bind you by any such precise instructions as would handicap you in dealing with the situation as you find it on your arrival at Tirana. In general, however, you should have in mind the desirability of avoiding any manifestation or display by which General Hoxha or other Albanian authorities might manage to create the impression that they enjoy American favor. We would hope that you might find it possible to proceed from the airport to the former Legation premises by your own means of transport, or at least by American means, but we realize, of course, that this may prove to be impossible.

13. Upon your arrival at Tirana, you should send word to Colonel General Enver Hoxha, Commander in Chief ANLA, that you would like to call on him informally at his convenience. When you see him you should mention that the American people have always shown a special interest in Albania and its people and that this Government has followed closely the long fight of Albanian patriots against the Fascist and Nazi invaders. If he again raises the question of American recognition of his administration as the government of Albania, you may confirm the position of this Government as set forth in Deptel 229 March 19 and communicated to him in memorandum form (Reurtels 1082 March 2267 and 1136 March 24). You may say that in consequence of his agreement to the presence in Albania of American representatives charged with conducting a survey of conditions and events in Albania, you have been directed by your Government to head a group to come to Albania for this purpose on an entirely unofficial and informal basis. You should leave no doubt in his mind that your presence is not to be in any way construed as representing any degree of recognition whatever and that the carrying out of your mission is a prerequisite to this Government’s consideration of the question of establishing official relations, whether de facto or de jure with the existing Albanian authorities. You may wish to mention in this connection the President’s message to Congress (Deptel 82 January 31) and the Crimea Declaration on Liberated Europe.68 You will hope nonetheless to have friendly informal relations with him and other existing authorities and trust that you may be given all the facilities necessary for the proper fulfilment of your mission.

[Page 20]

14. On the occasion of this initial meeting, or subsequently, General Hoxha may refer to his recent request for representation at the San Francisco Conference.69 In that event, you should reiterate the position of this Government as outlined in a separate instruction which will follow immediately.

15. Your relations with other Albanian officials, as well as with British, Soviet or other Allied representatives, should be on the same informal basis. You will of course have in mind the importance of maintaining a distinctly American attitude and, in particular, of not becoming identified too closely with the attitudes, views and policies of the British representation there.

16. You will have familiarized yourself with American policy regarding Albania as set forth in the several instructions and background studies sent to Caserta. It may be useful for you to keep permanently in mind the basic American position on certain of the country’s fundamental problems:

The Secretary’s statement of December 10, 1942,70 set forth clearly the American view that the restoration of Albanian independence is inherent in the Atlantic Charter.
We believe that any questions regarding boundaries or territorial disputes should be held in abeyance until the general settlement after the war. Meanwhile we would deplore any attempts by either the Albanians or their neighbors to violate the pre-1939 Albanian frontier or to settle territorial disputes by force of arms (Redeptel 365 November 971).
We believe that elections should be held in liberated areas only after arrangements can be made to ensure that they would be absolutely free and secret, in order that the people may have representative government responsive to their will.
While we recognize the right of the Albanian people to bring to trial persons whom they consider guilty of war crimes or of betraying the interests of the country, we would look with concern upon any attempt from any quarter to utilize war criminal trials as a political instrument for the elimination of political opponents.
We would consider inappropriate any proposal at this time for the entry of Albania into a Yugoslav or a wider federation including Bulgaria, or the establishment by other means of undue outside domination or influence.72
It is our view that no one of the three principal Allied Governments should take any decisive action with regard to Albania on matters of international importance, such as recognition, boundaries, federation, alliances, et cetera, except in consultation with the other two Allied Governments.

17. The Department desires for the present to give you no more specific instructions regarding your operating objectives. We simply want you to acquire and report all information which might be useful to us in determining what our next steps should be looking to the eventual establishment of normal relations between Albania and the United States in a manner consonant with our responsibilities to the Albanian people as implied in such public pronouncements as the Atlantic Charter and the Crimea Declaration. For this we will have to know a great deal about the attitudes, policies, and acts of the existing authorities, any plans they may have for broadening the basis of the present government or for holding really free elections, their program of taxation or economic rehabilitation, their expectations as regards economic or financial aid from abroad, the attitude of the Albanian people as a whole toward the government, conditions of internal order, charges and countercharges of repression and atrocities in the Albanian-Greek border region,73 and in the innumerable other factors which you will recognize as having a bearing on the situation.

  1. Not printed; it reported that necessary transfers and travel orders for Mr. Jacobs’ staff were being prepared (875.01/3–3145).
  2. Not printed.
  3. See footnote 61, p. 17.
  4. For text of the Declaration on Liberated Europe, included as part V of the Report of the Crimea Conference, February 11, 1945, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 971.
  5. In a message to President Roosevelt dated March 29, 1945, Hoxha requested that Albania be invited to participate in the United Nations Conference at San Francisco. Hoxha’s message was transmitted to the Department in telegram 1286, April 1, 1945, from Caserta (500.CC/4–145). The Department’s position with regard to the Albanian request was set forth in telegram 307, April 7, to Caserta, vol. i, p. 207. For documentation regarding the San Francisco Conference, April 25–June 26, 1945, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  6. Department of State Bulletin, December 12, 1942, p. 998.
  7. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 285.
  8. For documentation regarding the interest of the United States in various plans for Balkan federation and alliance, see vol. v, pp. 1304 ff.
  9. See vol. viii , last section under Greece, passim.