711.75/10–2946: Telegram

The Acting Representative in Albania (Henderson) to the Secretary of State


538. Although communiqué transmitted press telegram 536 October 28 (sent Caserta 218)63 may be subject ambiguous interpretation actual text rebuts Dept’s press release by denying that any official requests have been made to appropriate authorities by persons claiming US citizenship and possessing documents to prove it. Moreover, communiqué openly states such preliminary requests by interested persons would if made, assist such persons to regulate their status once diplomatic relations resumed.

Basic statement communiqué denies facts. At least 30 US citizens this category have applied for exit permits from Korcha police chief and/or Ministry of Interior Tirana. At Korcha they have been refused exit permits but their US passports have been retained by police chief with promise to return them if and when exit permits accorded. Each such person is in possession valid recently-issued Albanian document of identification giving “American” as nationality.

Those who have applied Ministry Interior have simply been refused exit permit with vague explanation or none at all.

These facts alone (which we re-pointed out to Hoxha in my letter October 12 remytel 526, October 19 and in two previous notes cited in the letter) give lie to communiqué.

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Do not wish approach Govt this subject without Dept’s specific instructions which, however, I will welcome.

Although communiqué probably responds in part US accusation Albania discriminating against American citizens over exit permits (heard here in BBC broadcast linking this with US “slave labor” note to Yugoslavia64) it is believed basic motivating factor was Dept’s press release September 20 sent Hoxha as enclosure my letter cited. If so, Hoxha apparently wishes ignore letter and arguments therein while indirectly replying to it through communiqué. Regime thus makes one more move in maneuver force recognition issue.

In this connection notwithstanding, Hoxha’s Youth Congress speech insinuating Mission should depart since it has no reason for being here, Mission continues function as it has in past and cordial notes continue to be exchanged with Foreign Office which has not ceased to take official cognizance Mission’s presence.

Awaiting Dept’s instructions re this telegram and my 526 cited.

Sent Department 538, repeated Caserta 220.

  1. Not printed; it transmitted the text of an Albanian communiqué on the United States protests against the efforts by Albanian authorities to prevent the return to the United States of Albanians who had acquired American nationality (711.75/10–2846).
  2. Reference presumably is to the United States note delivered to the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry on October 18 protesting the use by Yugoslav authorities of American citizens for slave labor. For text of note, see Department of State Bulletin, October 27, 1946, p. 761.