Memorandum by the Acting State Member of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (Matthews) to the Committee

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Subject: Situation in Venezia Giulia.

The Secretary of State has carefully considered the memorandum of the Joint Chiefs of Staff relating to the situation in Venezia Giulia, which was contained in SWN 3995 of 8 March 1946, and requests that the following views be transmitted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Secretary of State shares the concern of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over recent developments in Venezia Giulia, and desires to confirm that the political decision continues to be that the U.S.-British forces fight if the Yugoslavs advance. In this circumstance, the Department considers that from the political point of view, a public statement along the lines proposed by General Morgan, as referred to in the memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would be desirable. It is the Department’s view, however, that at the present time, when the American and British Governments are participating in the deliberations of the Council of Foreign Ministers on the Italian Treaty, and when a Commission of Inquiry, including British and American representatives, has just begun its studies in Venezia Giulia on the question of the Italo-Yugoslav frontier, this statement should preferably be issued by the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, in the name of the two Governments, rather than by the Governments themselves. Accordingly, the Department proposes that a statement along the lines of the attached draft29 be issued by General Morgan.

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. Not printed; it was identical with the statement quoted in telegram 93, March 20, to Caserta, p. 882.