The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 2—5:25 p.m.]
248. Following is text of note from FonOff dated March 2:
“With reference to the conversation between the State Secretary Mr. G. [J.] Byrnes and the Yugoslav FonMin Mr. Simic,11 the Yugoslav MinFonAff has the honor to communicate hereunder to the Govt of the USA the view of the Govt of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia regarding the obligations of the FPRY.
“The Govt of the FPRY did not consider it necessary to declare expressively in separate documents its readiness to recognize, in principle, the international obligations to which she had been bound by the former Governments of this country since she had considered that this principle originates from the juridical continuity of the sovereign State of Yugoslavia. Furthermore she has never stated the contrary, i.e. that she would not recognize these obligations and considered therefore unnecessary to emphasize particularly its readiness to recognize them.
“In this respect the Govt of the FPRY expresses the only reservation in connection with the decision passed by the AVNOJ on its 2nd session on November 29, 1943 which, in its para 3, reads: ‘… that all international agreements and obligations concluded on behalf of Yugoslavia by the emigrant “Government” abroad, should be examined as to find out their necessity and to see whether they were to be abolished, concluded again or confirmed and that no international agreement and obligation should be recognized which might be concluded in the future by the emigrant so-called “Government” …’
“In fact this means that the Govt of the FPRY reserves the right to submit to revision certain obligations of financial nature which had been taken over by the emigrant ‘Governments’ for the purpose of helping the Quisling movement in Yugoslavia and any secret obligation of political or economic character, which are unknown to the Govt of the FPRY and which she might consider harmful to Yugoslavia.
“At the same time the Govt of the FPRY expresses its readiness to discuss with the respective Representative of the USA Govt any [Page 873] case of that kind which might appear involving the interests of citizens or Institutions of the USA for the purpose of finding out the best solution.
“In connection with this question the Govt of the FPRY emphasizes that its Representatives have, in conversations with Representatives of the USA Govt, declared officially on many occasions, that the Govt of the FPRY was prepared to respect the interests of USA citizens in Yugoslavia and proposed that the problem of these interests be definitively solved in agreement by means of a special Parity Commission which should have to examine all disputed cases.”
- See telegram 118, February 27, to Belgrade, supra.↩