740.00119 Control (Italy)/4–1746
The Secretary of War (Patterson) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: Because of the continued unfriendly attitude of Yugoslavia and the possibility of offensive action by Yugoslav forces in the Venezia Giulia area, the U.S. and British Governments have authorized General Morgan to issue a joint statement reiterating the Allies’ intention to fight on the Morgan Line if the Yugoslavs attempt to advance across it.
The War Department is concerned over the amount of equipment which may be used for military purposes that has been turned over to the Yugoslav Government by UNRRA to date, and UNRRA’s plans for turning over more in the near future.48 As of the end of January 1946, 10,401 trucks and 3300 trailers, predominantly from U.S. sources, have been turned over, as well as other material and equipment of actual or potential military value. The War Department has noted the pending delivery by UNRRA to the Yugoslav Government of three C–47’s and the contemplated delivery of five more. In light of the Venezia Giulia situation, the recent reports that the Yugoslavs are requesting the end of British and ATC service in their country and the stiffening attitude in increasing the restrictions in flights to and through Yugoslavia of our planes, it seems hardly likely that the turn-over of transport airplanes even for the intended use of UNRRA will induce the Yugoslav government to adopt a more cooperative attitude. This action results in our assisting the Yugoslav armed forces, at least to the extent of releasing to them resources that would otherwise be required to support their national economy.[Page 888]
The War Department realizes that UNRRA is an international organization and that the State Department cannot determine the ultimate disposition of property turned over to this organization. It feels strongly, however, that inasmuch as surpluses of military application are made available to UNRRA by the Foreign Liquidation Commission, over which the State Department has jurisdiction, the military implications involved should be carefully considered before any future turn-over is made. The War Department, therefore, strongly recommends that the Department of State adopt the necessary measures to prevent material which has potential military value from being turned over to Yugoslavia, either directly or indirectly.49
In a memorandum to the Secretary of State dated March 7, 1946, Secretary Patterson had earlier expressed his concern over the further extension of assistance to Yugoslavia. The memorandum read in part as follows:
“It would seem to me that we should examine all forms of assistance that we are now giving to Yugoslavia, including the possible loan of minesweepers and our contributions to the program of feeding Yugoslavia through UNRRA, in the light of the menacing movements of their Army against our troops in Venezia-Giulia which is an unfriendly act. At the same time we are giving various kinds of assistance and aid to Yugoslavia.
I suggest that consideration be given to informing Yugoslavia that they will get nothing from us unless they stop military demonstrations against our troops.” (740.00119 EW/3–746)
- In a reply dated May 17, 1946, Acting Secretary of State Acheson suggested that Secretary Patterson designate a member of his staff to meet with C. Tyler Wood, an officer of the Department of State and First Alternate United States Member of the UNRRA Council, to discuss the question of improving procedures for ascertaining the propriety of UNRRA requisitions for supplies to Yugoslavia procured with United States funds (740.00119 Control Italy/4–1746).↩