Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., Political and Liaison Officer to the United States Delegation at the San Francisco Conference92

Persons present: The Secretary
Mr. James Clement Dunn93
Mr. Llewellyn E. Thompson
Dr. Ivan Subasic, Prime Minister [Foreign Minister] of Yugoslavia

Dr. Subasic called to say goodbye and presented the Secretary with an autographed portrait. The Secretary expressed his appreciation and in turn presented Dr. Subasic with a redwood bowl in commemoration of their association at the San Francisco Conference.

The Secretary: inquired whether there was anything he could do for the Foreign Minister before his departure.

Dr. Subasic: said that the one thing that would help him and help his people would be if the Secretary could give him some hope that Yugoslavia would receive economic assistance from the United States.

The Secretary: replied that there was, of course, hope of this but he again reminded the Foreign Minister that assistance of this kind would involve Congressional authority which reflected public opinion in the United States. As he had said before, public opinion, and consequently Congress would be affected by any serious political difficulties such as had been threatened over Venezia Giulia.

Dr. Subasic: said he fully appreciated this. He was not, however, so much concerned by current difficulties which he felt could probably be surmounted, but by the fact that there would probably be similar difficulties in the future. In this connection he referred to the fact that there were some indications that there might be other difficulties in the Balkans in respect to projects for the establishment of some sort of federative system which might include Bulgaria, He was afraid that a series of political disturbances of this kind might prejudice the granting of economic assistance to the Yugoslav people who would be so weakened as a result that they would be unable to establish their political independence. He emphasized that he was not concerned with assistance for the present regime which would eventually change, but with assistance for his people. They are already weak and would be more and more in the need of hope for the future. If assistance were denied from the United States they might tend to resort to the only door open to them.

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Mr. Dunn: said we fully appreciated the dilemma with which the Foreign Minister was faced and assured him that we had the greatest sympathy for the Yugoslav people. The Foreign Minister’s problem was to try and prevent these political disturbances.

Dr. Subasic: said he would like to see the President during his stay in Washington.

The Secretary: replied that the Department had already been informed of this and he felt sure that if the President could find the time in spite of his very heavy schedule, he would be glad to see him. In any event, he said that Mr. Grew and officers of the Department would be very glad to see Dr. Subasic and to discuss Yugoslavia in greater detail.

  1. This conversation was held May 25, 1945, 4 p.m., at the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, California.
  2. Assistant Secretary of State.