860h.01/1–2345: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in Exile (Patterson), at London

Yugos 8. Reurtel 17 January 23. In reply to a note received yesterday from the British Embassy and an aide-mémoire received this afternoon, concerning developments in the Yugoslav question the Department has informed the British Embassy of the substance of telegram no. 5 of January 17 to you and continued as follows:45

Begin paraphrase. The Department is in substantial agreement, therefore, with the objective under which the Yugoslav Government would return to the country to work together with the various elements within Yugoslavia. The Department would of course prefer [Page 1188] that when that time comes the returning Government should be accompanied or shortly followed by the regular American diplomatic and consular establishment.

Meanwhile the question has arisen as to the attitude of the principal Allied Governments in the event that Dr. Subasic, notwithstanding the events of yesterday evening, should proceed along the lines of his agreement, and in this connection the Department has taken note of the position of the British Government, to wit: (the following five numbered points are in broken order for security reasons) (2) that it has informed Dr. Subasic this morning that King Peter’s action does not affect the intention of the British Government to see the Tito-Subasic agreement carried out; (4) that the British Government is also informing Marshal Tito to this same effect; (1) that the British Government is not prepared in the present circumstances to recognize a new Yugoslav Government which might be formed by King Peter as a result of yesterday’s events; (5) that it is the suggestion of the British Government that pending the formation of a united Government in accordance with the Subasic-Tito agreement recognition should not be accorded to any government formed either by King Peter or Marshal Tito alone; (3) that for this purpose the British Government is ready to transport him and his government to Belgrade together with all the Yugoslav leaders who desire to go there;

The British Government has suggested that the principal Allies should agree that it is desirable that the agreement come into force and should inform Tito that if he will concert with Dr. Subasic and his Government to carry out the agreement the three principal Allies will recognize the united government and accredit ambassadors to the Council of the Regency. The Department would observe that it would be difficult for this Government to go beyond a provisional representation in Yugoslavia under these conditions. Some arrangement should be made nevertheless, in the Department’s opinion, for such provisional representation at Belgrade at an early date. On the assumption that arrangements will be made for the establishment of a truly representative administration, with provision for free elections as set forth in the agreement, such assurances being fundamental to the whole agreement, the regular American diplomatic mission could be used for this provisional representation to the interim government. This would afford facilities for an examination of conditions in the country and, according to the situation then prevailing, for consultation with other governments. End paraphrase.

Please inform Dr. Subasic of the Department’s position as set forth in the first and last paragraphs of the preceding paraphrase and in Department’s telegram no. 5 already cited. You should similarly inform King Peter, unless events now developing have meanwhile so changed the situation that you consider this course inadvisable. The Department is not communicating with Marshal Tito but has no objection if Dr. Subasic either directly or through General Velebit wishes to inform him of this communication.

Sent to London. Repeated to Moscow and to AmPolAd, Caserta.

  1. For text of the note as delivered to the British Embassy, January 23, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 259.