Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Southern European Affairs (Huston) to Mr. Samuel Reber of the Office of European Affairs

Ambassador Patterson4 has suggested tentatively the idea that it might be a good thing for him to give a statement to the press regarding Yugoslavia. He would speak quite bluntly, pointing out several [Page 1240] major aspects of essential conditions under the Tito regime in the hope that it might “do some good”.

Mr. Patterson felt that he could make such a statement to the press while in Washington, which would have considerable weight when reported back to Belgrade; at the same time, neither the Acting Secretary nor the Department would be directly involved, and we can later, if desired, indicate that his statement represented only his own personal views.

It may be that such a statement would have a useful effect and we could leave it squarely on the Ambassador’s shoulders, which he does not mind.

We could:

Advise the Ambassador against making a statement to the press;
Allow the Ambassador to make his statement without prior knowledge of its content; or
Let him know that he may make the statement but suggest that we informally examine its content before issuance.

I would suggest the latter procedure as being preferable. May I have your views?5

Cloyce K. Huston
  1. Ambassador Patterson had been called to Washington for consultation. He left Belgrade on June 9 and did not return until October 8.
  2. A penciled note in the margin reads: “Mr. Huston. I have talked to Doc. [H. Freeman Matthews], who agrees that the timing of the statement would be bad and we recommend none be made prior to the Big 3 meeting. SR.”