123 Patterson, Richard C.: Telegram

The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Secretary of State


564. Regarding final paragraph unnumbered, Department, June 1, 3 p.m.,67 operation US aircraft in Yugoslavia:

We think it advisable to defer Ambassador’s return whether or not British agree and whether or not we tell Yugoslavian Government.

We are confronted currently by numerous harassing problems, most of which could be easily settled or would never have arisen were Yugoslavian Government genuinely desirous of cooperating in spirit of good will. Indications are plain that country’s rulers are determined to render ineffective our representation here. Although Ambassador’s return should be interpreted as evidence of good will and desire to reach settlement of problems, those in power have indicated they do not understand good will nor wish settlement of problems, which they have in large part created and might construe his return as evidence of weakness and warrant for fresh encroachments. We foresaw in advance their demands to eliminate Embassy’s air and radio communications, and I believe it only question of time before they attempt to oust USIS.

We do not believe Ambassador’s personal contacts with Tito will help matters. As Subasic68 told Hohenthal69 in Zagreb recently, Tito must be regarded as having no more power than a Russian officer of Marshal’s rank.

US and British Embassies have now served purpose for which regime originally desired their presence; namely, to show that they [Page 898] condone country’s subjection to status of slave province. Having served this purpose we are being branded as enemies of the people and every effort is made to hasten our departure. We believe that we should stay as long as possible but that if we must continue to suffer indignities, it is better not to do so on an Ambassadorial level.

  1. Reference is to telegram 4412, June 1, 3 p.m., to London, repeated to Belgrade as 342, supra.
  2. Ivan Subašić, Prime Minister of the Yugoslav Government in Exile in London, May 1944–March 1945; Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Yugoslav Provisional Government from March 1945 until his resignation in October 1945.
  3. Theodore H. Hohenthal, Consul at Zagreb from January 1946.