875.01/1–1245

The British Embassy to the Department of State 21

Aide-Mémoire

His Majesty’s Government welcome the statement of the Department of State’s policy with regard to Albania contained in the Department’s memorandum of November 21st, 1944,22 and are glad to find that the Department share the view of His Majesty’s Government that recognition of the Provisional Government formed at Berat23 should not be granted for the present. As for the future His Majesty’s Government agree that before de jure recognition can be granted to any Albanian Government it should be in a position to fulfil the conditions which the State Department have put forward.

There remains the question of establishing relations on a day to day basis with the F.N.C.24 which is in de facto control of the country. It is noted that the State Department feel it may soon be desirable to establish such relations as would enable them to open an office in Tirana for the purpose of protecting American interests there and co-ordinating activities of representatives of other American agencies who may be sent to Albania. His Majesty’s Government for their part have also been considering this problem and have reached the conclusion that until the time comes for the recognition of a government in Albania the best course would be to withdraw the British liaison officers at present in the country and to accredit a military mission to the headquarters of the F.N.C. Plans have therefore been worked out for the despatch of a mission under the command of the [Page 6]Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean. This mission, whose duties would include the provision of up to date information on political tendencies in Albania and of advice on the economic and financial situation, would be headed by an officer of the rank of Brigadier. He would be assisted by a Lieutenant Palmer (at present senior British Liaison Officer at F.N.C. headquarters) as political adviser and by two or three other officers with experience in Albanian affairs. It is proposed that Military Liaison Albania (which is a joint Anglo-United States organisation) would be separate from the British military mission but would work in close cooperation with it.

As recent military developments in Albania make it very desirable that the mission should enter the country at the earliest possible moment, His Majesty’s Government propose to send it in as soon as the necessary administrative arrangements can be made. At the same time His Majesty’s Government would welcome any information the State Department may be able to give about their own plans for maintaining contact with F.N.C. during this interim period.

  1. Handed to the Department on January 13.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 288.
  3. See footnote 15, p. 4.
  4. The National Liberation Front, political party created at the Congress of Berat, October 22, 1944, as a successor to the National Liberation Movement (L.N.C.); officially, a mass organization representing all shades of “democratic” political opinion, but actually a camouflage organization for the purpose of implementing the program and policies of the Albania Communist Party.