860H.00/6–646: Telegram

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

us urgent

357. Representatives of “Committee for a Fair Trial for Draja Mihailovich” called at Department today and presented copies of: (1) report of Committee’s commission of inquiry; (2) 580 page transcript of testimony taken by commission; and (3) photostats of annexed exhibits. Representatives requested that two sets of documents be sent Embassy and that Embassy make one set available to United States correspondents in Belgrade and that other set be forwarded to Yugoslav Government, Documents are being sent by fastest air pouch and you are authorized to comply with Committee’s wishes.

Meanwhile, in view of possibility documents arrival Belgrade may be delayed, note along following lines should be delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and under instructions from its Government has the honor to refer to its note of May 7,70 to which a reply has not yet been received, and to previous correspondence, concerning the scheduled trial of General Draja Mihailovich.

As Yugoslav Government may be aware, a Committee for a Fair Trial for Draja Mihailovich was recently formed by private individuals in the United States and a Commission of inquiry sponsored by that Committee has recently been engaged in taking the testimony of various individuals in the United States having knowledge pertinent to this case. Representatives of the Committee have delivered to the Department of State copies of Commission’s report, transcript of evidence and certain exhibits with request that these documents be transmitted to Yugoslav Government for information and such use as the appropriate court may see fit to make of them. The Committee has had the transcript duly notarized by the Yugoslav Consulate General in New York with a view to facilitating its use by such court. The Embassy has been informed that abovementioned documents are, being forwarded to it by air and upon their receipt will not fail to forward them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of foregoing, the Embassy has also been instructed to express hope that the Ministry [Page 899] of Foreign Affairs will be good enough to indicate to the Embassy action the Yugoslav Government may be disposed to take with respect to the Committee’s request in order to enable the United States Government to make appropriate reply to Committee.”71

  1. See bracketed note, p. 891.
  2. The note was delivered to the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry on June 8, 1946. On June 19, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry informed the Embassy in Belgrade that the material in question would be transmitted to the competent court (860H.00/6–2046). General Mihailović was tried before a military court during July 1946, was sentenced to death and executed on July 17, 1946.