760h.61/4–1345: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State

1156. Department will note principal differences between Yugoslav-Soviet treaty64 (Department see my immediately following press telegram65 not repeated to Caserta) and the Czech-Soviet treaty which was obviously used as a model in drafting the former are as follows:

Czech treaty contains article binding signatories not to enter into any negotiations with Germany or satellite states without mutual consent. Absence of such article in Yugoslav treaty under present circumstances is of course not surprising.
Mutual aid clauses in both treaties are almost identical and are apparently automatic in application. Czech treaty refers in this connection to the “Drang Nach Osten” policy of Germany whereas Yugoslav treaty merely refers to renewing of German policy of aggression. This difference would not appear to be in substance of importance.
Czech clause on close and friendly cooperation in postwar period brings out principles of mutual respect for independence and sovereignty and noninterference in internal affairs of the other. Yugoslav pact does not spell out these principles.
Principal innovation in Yugoslav treaty would appear to be article 3 which declares that the contracting parties would participate, in a spirit of the most sincere cooperation, in all international activities directed to secure peace and security and would fully contribute their share in effecting these high aims. Second paragraph declares that application of present treaty would be in conformity with international principles “in the acceptance of which they (the contracting parties) have participated”.

This clause does not appear in Czech pact. Its meaning is not clear either in context or as to exactly what international principles [Page 1224] are referred to. Pravda and Izvestiya editorials which commented at length on the treaty and paraphrased to some extent the articles, passed over in silence the second paragraph of article 3.

It will be recalled that when Vyshinski informed me of the Yugoslav treaty on April 9 (reEmbs 1099, April 9, 8 p.m.) in reply to my question he stated that the treaty would not conflict with future world organization. In view of the interest that was raised in connection with Franco-Soviet pact66 vis-à-vis the world organization, and of the fact that it raised this question again in connection with the Yugoslav pact it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Vyshinski, who said he was then personally working on the draft of the Yugoslav pact, considered it advisable to include in it a clause which, however ambiguous and obscure in context, might be interpreted as bringing the instrument more in line with world organization. I would like to point out, however, that until further clarification article 3 as it now stands appears to be subject to various interpretations.

Sent Department as 1156, repeated to Caserta for Patterson as 53.

  1. Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Aid, and Postwar Cooperation, between the Soviet Union and the Regency Council of Yugoslavia, signed at Moscow on April 11, 1945; for text, see Department of State, Documents and State Papers, vol. i, p. 231, or Department of State Bulletin, April 22, 1945, p. 774.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance, between the Soviet Union and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, signed at Moscow on December 10, 1944; for text, see Department of State, Documents and State Papers, vol. i, p. 230. See also telegram 4770 of December 11, 1944, from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 937.