Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State94

Participants: Dr. Ivan Subasic, Minister of Foreign Affairs95
Mr. Grew, Acting Secretary
Mr. Cannon, Chief of SE

The Yugoslav Foreign Minister was received by the Acting Secretary this morning at 10:30 for a second conversation (see memorandum of conversation on May 28)96 on American relations with Yugoslavia.

Dr. Subasic said that he had examined the exchange of correspondence with Marshal Tito on the Venezia Giulia and Carinthia problems and hoped that a satisfactory settlement could shortly be reached. He said that he wished to refer particularly to Marshal Tito’s most recent reply on the Venezia Giulia matter97 in which he had proposed a certain arrangement for Yugoslav participation in the administration under the authority of Marshal Alexander. It was explained to Dr. Subasic that a reply to Marshal Tito’s note had not yet been sent to him for the reason that the matter was now receiving the attention of the British and American Governments with consideration of the views of the military authorities for the technical aspects. Mr. Grew observed that since the Allied Commander would be responsible for the administration the arrangement must leave no doubt that the authority could be exercised in a just and equitable manner by using machinery which at the same time would provide a practicable administration for the whole area. He said that he was confident that [Page 1235] Dr. Subasic now fully appreciates our disinterested approach to this problem in the interest of all the peoples involved and the earnestness with which we were looking forward to Marshal Tito’s early agreement to the plan.

Dr. Subasic spoke of the great suffering of his people during the war, the impatience and vitality of the young leaders who had grown out of the resistance movement and the difficulty sometimes encountered in dealing with them because of their tendency to seek rapid solutions and take matters into their own hands. He said that he would do the best he could upon his arrival in Belgrade to impress upon his associates in the Yugoslav Government the points of view which had been expressed to him here. Mr. Grew said that he felt sure that these conversations had been most useful and that Dr. Subasic, of whose difficulties in Yugoslavia we are well aware, could render a definite service by returning to Belgrade at this time.

Upon Mr. Grew’s references to the Yalta formulas, Dr. Subasic discussed briefly the steps being taken to establish a more representative Government in Yugoslavia. He said that the progress had been slow because so many political leaders were considered to have been compromised as a result of the “factionalism” and “collaborationism” in Yugoslavia during the war, and he did not know what further steps had been taken in recent weeks, since, except for a day or two after his return from Moscow, he had been absent from Belgrade since early April. He said that he and some of his colleagues would in any case do their best to achieve broader representation in the Avnoj which he hoped would be reflected in the policies of the government.

He again referred to the pressing economic needs of his country, and Mr. Grew stated that an arrangement would be made, immediately after this interview, for him to speak with Mr. Dort98 (LA) and Mr. Cannon for a discussion of the technical questions of lend lease, surplus property, relief, et cetera. In this connection, as also in his remarks on the political questions, Mr. Grew gave special emphasis to the influence of public opinion in this country. He said that there was a genuine desire on the part of this Government to help Yugoslavia, as in other liberated countries in Europe, in the reestablishment of the institutions of government and the restoration of national economy, but that we were guided by public opinion and our progress in this respect would to a large measure depend on the impression which the American public will gain from the policies and events in the countries recently liberated.

In this connection Mr. Grew assured Dr. Subasic of his continuing interest in Yugoslav questions, noting that he had been Acting Secretary at that time when the united Yugoslav Government had been [Page 1236] formed and had therefore given his personal attention to all the questions in our relations with Yugoslavia in recent months.

Dr. Subasic again expressed his appreciation for the frankness with which we had discussed these problems with him and said that he would do his best to see that our views on the several matters which had been mentioned in his conversations were promptly put before the Government at Belgrade.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]
  1. This memorandum was drafted by Cavendish W. Cannon, Chief of the Division of Southern European Affairs.
  2. Dr. Subasich was returning to Yugoslavia after attending the San Francisco Conference. On May 29 he had an interview with the President.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Vol. iv, p. 1170.
  5. Dallas Dort of the War Areas Economic Division.