Memorandum by the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: A communication dated March 2 from the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry and reported by the Embassy at Belgrade in its telegram no. 248, March 2, attached,16 has been confirmed by the Acting Foreign Minister as the Yugoslav Government’s reply to our note of December 21 [22], 1945 concerning the recognition of the Federal Peoples’ Republic of Yugoslavia.17

The Embassy in Belgrade finds the assurances contained in that note as to the Yugoslav Government’s continued recognition of the treaties and agreements in effect between the United States and Yugoslavia unacceptable. However, after careful consideration, EUR feels that the note does contain categoric assurance in the sense we desire, although the language is somewhat obscure in parts and the Yugoslav Government reserves the right to “submit to revision” certain obligations of a financial nature undertaken by the former Government-in-Exile which it accuses of having assisted the Quisling movement in [Page 875] Yugoslavia. To make sure that there is no misunderstanding of our position, we could in an acknowledgment summarize the substance of the Yugoslav note unambiguously, a procedure similar to that we adopted in the case of the Rumanian assurances,18 and indicate that we have no secret political and economic agreements which the Yugoslavs say they would also wish to revise.

At the same time we have received the attached note from the Yugoslav Embassy19 here asking the agreement of this Government to the appointment of Mr. Sava N. Kosanovic as Yugoslav Ambassador in succession to Ambassador Simic.

Other things being equal, we would suggest that we accept the Yugoslavs’ note on the basis indicated above and give our agreement to the appointment of Mr. Kosanovic. However, in view of the bearing our action in this matter will have on our general position in relation to the Russians, we feel that you may wish to consider whether we should postpone any reply to the Yugoslavs for the time being or whether we might accept the Yugoslav note, thus concluding the recognition we offered in December, and at the same time delay our reply in regard to Mr. Kosanovic pending further developments.20

I might add that there is a possible connection between this Yugoslav situation and the steadily deteriorating status of our people in Albania. Mr. Jacobs has indicated that the Albanian authorities are likely to be influenced in their attitude by the progress of our relations with Yugoslavia.21 It is possible, therefore, that if we accept the Yugoslav note as satisfactory, similar assurances might be forthcoming from the Albanians.

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. Ante, p. 872.
  2. Department of State Bulletin, December 23, 1945, p. 1021.
  3. For documentation regarding establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Rumania, see pp. 555 ff.
  4. Dated March 1, 1946, not printed.
  5. Notation by the Secretary of State reads: “H.F.M. I would withhold action pending clarification of army movements into Venezia Giulia reported by Army. When that is clarified I approve your recommendation. JFB”
  6. Joseph E. Jacobs was head of the informal United States mission in Albania. For documentation regarding the decision of the United States not to extend diplomatic recognition to the Albanian regime, see pp. 1 ff.