Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Grew)

With reference to our conversation yesterday afternoon,41 I called Mr. Michael Wright of the British Embassy on the telephone at 9:20 this morning and asked if he had heard of any developments in the Yugoslav situation since he had spoken to me. I said that I had especially in mind the King’s reported demand for the resignation of Subasic and the reported calling by Subasic of a Cabinet meeting for this afternoon. I wondered if, under these circumstances the British Government might not delay the action which it contemplated taking at noon today.42 I said that we would probably go along with the proposed action of the British Government, which I understood would amount to de facto recognition of the Provisional Government in Yugoslavia by sending our respective diplomatic representatives promptly to Belgrade to enter into relations with that Government, but always on the understanding that an eventual plebiscite would be held in Yugoslavia for the free and democratic choice of the eventual government.

Mr. Wright said that this was his understanding of the proposed action of his Government and he expressed great satisfaction at our own willingness to go along with them. He said he thought that if our proposed action could be brought to the attention of King Peter immediately it would have a very salutory effect on the situation. I [Page 1186] said that I thought the question of timing was important and that it would be helpful for our two Governments to act at the same time. We must also consider the nature and timing of our public announcements. Mr. Wright said that he would put a telephone call through to London immediately to ascertain the latest developments and intentions of his Government and would probably be able to give me a reply in an hour or so. I said that I might be out of the Department at that time and I asked him in that case to get in touch with Mr. Dunn,43 who was thoroughly familiar with the situation.

Our proposed action is of course predicated on the assumption that the Soviet Government favors the proposed step and will take similar action.

Joseph C. Grew
  1. See footnote 36, p. 1184.
  2. See footnote 34, p. 1183.
  3. James Clement Dunn, Assistant Secretary of State.