860h.01/2–2845: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser, Allied Force Headquarters, to the Secretary of State

752. Norden saw Subasic yesterday at latter’s request. Yugo Prime Minister explained agreement was reached previous evening on [Page 1204] Regency problem and that a message for King was sent through Yugo channels to Yugo Embassy at London. He gave Norden text of this message which is contained in our immediately following telegram.94

Subasic was not willing to guess concerning King’s probable reaction and choice among the four Serbs but stated he had no alternative other than acceptance.

Since Subasic had made large concessions to Partisans, Norden asked him in view of this if he was receiving a similar concession in return with regard to their pending decisions. Since both Belie95 and Mandic had been his suggestions to King and since none of proposed Serbian candidates for Regency were members of liberation movement, Subasic protested that this was not at all the way to look at it. Regency should be above politics, he felt, and it was an error to wish to put political figures into Regency. (Both Budisavljevic,96 a Croatian Serb and Mandic, nevertheless, have been active in politics.)

Beyond stating that both London Ministers and most of present Partisan group would probably be included he was unwilling to discuss formation of new government. He hesitated when asked whether Sutej would be Finance Minister. When later in conversation he was asked if Sutej might not make a good head of an economic mission to United States or Ambassador to Washington, Subasic stated that though Partisans were beginning to take more kindly to him, he felt he would wish to send Sutej abroad fairly soon.

Subasic in a rather prolonged conversation persisted in taking a philosophical view of situation; he feels time to be in his favor. But before the Ustachi97 problem was settled, he foresaw much bloodshed in Croatia and expressed fear that general political situation in Yugo would hardly go down to normal without some flareups and incidents. He again expressed hope for American economic aid and states that the providing of normal juridical procedure, effective administration and economic reconstruction were true means to internal appeasement. Finding of suitable Ambassador to Washington he considers to be one of his most difficult tasks. Subasic expects to be Foreign Minister and hopes to go to America soon after new government is formed.

Sent Department repeated London for Patterson as 109 and Moscow as 45.

  1. In telegram 753, February 28, 1945, from Caserta, the Department was informed that as the result of the agreement between the Royal Government and the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation, the names of two candidates to the Regency, one Slovene and one Croatian, were submitted to the King for his approval. The names of four Serbian candidates were also submitted, and the King was to choose one of them as the third regent. (860h.01/2–2845)
  2. Alexander Belich, President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences.
  3. Srdjan Budisavljevich, member of the Independent Democratic Party and former Minister in several Cabinets.
  4. Ustashi, or Croatian National Liberation Movement.