CFM Files

United States Delegation Journal

USDel (PC) (Journal) 32

The Commission began consideration of Article 3 (Italo-Yugoslav Frontier) and listened to a sixty-five minute speech by the representative of Yugoslavia. Briefly, M. Bebler replied to Sig. Bonomi’s presentation of the Italian case on September 2 and to the Italian memorandum (CP(IT/P) Doc. 12 Annex 2)16 and argued against the “French line” as a true ethnic boundary. In the course of his speech M. Bebler made a personal attack on Sig. Bonomi for his role in the Treaty of Rapallo and his positions in pre-Fascist Italian Governments. He denounced the Treaty of Rapallo as having been forced on a weak Yugoslav Government with British and French approval. He argued that the present Italian Government has built up the Trieste problem in order to divert the attention of the Italian people from their internal problems and to conceal imperialistic and aggressive Italian aims. He alleged that the Italian census of the Venezia Giulia area in 1921 was fraudulent and that Italian arguments based thereon were the same. He interpreted Italy’s claims to the Upper Isonzo Valley, request for the extension of the Free Territory to include Pola and adjacent islands and creation of a Free Territory for [Page 343] Fiume and autonomy for Zara as attempts to control indirectly something Italy has already lost and a desire to dominate the Free Territory of Trieste. M. Bebler then attacked the French line and the “ethnic equilibrium” principle carrying arguments, based on this principle, to absurd lengths in order to discredit the principle itself. The Yugoslav Government, he said, rejects the proposal based on the French line and in accepting the internationalization of Trieste presents its own ethnic line which it declares coincides with the “clearly expressed wishes of the overwhelming majority of the population of the Julian March.” In reply to a question from the Chair, M. Bebler formally moved the Yugoslav amendment to Article 3 (CP Gen Doc. 1 U 3).

In an effort to avoid two translations of the speech the Chairman suggested that the Commission be satisfied with the printed English and Russian versions which would be distributed during the course of the meeting. This was immediately opposed, however, by the Yugoslav and Soviet representatives, and the rest of the morning session was devoted to the English and Russian translations of M. Bebler’s speech.

  1. Virtually identical with Doc. 10(P), a component part of “Observations on the Draft Peace Treaty with Italy by the Italian Government,” vol. iv, p. 117.