860h.01/4–2645: Telegram

The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Patterson) to the Secretary of State

55. Yesterday Dr. Grol asked Read of OWI67 to see him and said that he wanted Washington to know about conditions in Yugoslavia on eve of San Francisco Conference. Grol described conditions much [Page 1225] as reported in my No. 21 for April 9. He said that Communists are ruthlessly eliminating their opponents; men who were with Mihailovich or gave him funds are constantly being tried and executed; private properties and firms are confiscated without justification. He and other Liberals in government are powerless to prevent this. He has told his followers to keep out of politics since he cannot protect them from reprisals. Avnoj has not been enlarged; and meanwhile he said drastic laws are being enacted while guarantees of fair trial are meaningless.

Grol asked what the British and American attitude is to all this; whether they mean to implement the Yalta declaration; and whether he can count on our support if he stays in office.

I have faith in Grol’s honesty. He perhaps sees only the dark side of the picture since he is inundated by appeals from relatives of those being arrested. Incidents brought daily to our attention tend to confirm Grol’s view but do not appear to offer grounds for us to intervene except on behalf of American rights as we are now doing so.

  1. Clifton R. Read, Office of War Information official assigned in Belgrade.