740.00119 Control (Italy)/6–2646: Telegram

The United States Deputy Political Adviser at Allied Force Headquarters (Byington) to the Secretary of State

top secret

622. Re my 610, June 21, 2 p.m.78 Please see Naf 1166 from SAC to CCS date June 25 in which he makes following recomendations in order to strengthen present insecure military position:

[Here follows a summary of numbered section 4 of telegram FX 68284, Naf 1166, June 25 from General Morgan to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, supra.]

Together with my British colleague79 at discussions here regarding above recommendations which originally included proposal for immediate withdrawal of Pola garrison, I pointed out that from political point of view withdrawal of garrison from Pola prior to decision establishing Venezia Giulia frontier or an open breach with Yugos would inevitably be regarded by Yugos as sign of weakness and would encourage them to intensify their activities in Trieste area. I also expressed view that withdrawal of garrison from Pola would appear difficult to explain in light of SAC’s statement in March reaffirmed on June 23 (see my 615 of June 22, 3 p.m.80) which emphasized that both US and UK firmly intend to maintain present position in Venezia Giulia until an agreed settlement about future of territory has been reached and put into effect. We pointed out in conclusion that there had been no official announcement that Pola was to be awarded to [Page 903] Yugos and we questioned whether either US or UK Delegations at Paris would welcome psychological effect of a military move apparently abandoning Pola while Paris discussions over Venezia Giulia boundary were still going on. Furthermore it would seem certain that withdrawal of Pola garrison would lead to requests from Italian inhabitants for permission to evacuate city (see my 582, June 11, 2 p.m.81).

In discussion of military situation in Venezia Giulia with Field Marshal Montgomery during his visit here yesterday this proposal was brought up. The Field Marshal was obviously impressed by arguments for withdrawal from Pola which are unquestionably sound from military point of view and he might very well support any such move.

If Dept agrees that political objections to removal of Pola garrison outweigh advisability of this move from military view point it would be well for SAC’s instructions from CCS to indicate clearly that Pola garrison is not to be withdrawn except as a last resort and upon reliable evidence of imminent Yugo aggression.

In my immediate following telegram I shall take up SAC’s request to withdraw Yugo detachment.82

Sent Dept as 622, repeated Rome 459.

  1. Not printed; it summarized recommendations contained in General Morgan’s telegram Naf 1159, June 20, to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, p. 899.
  2. Philip Broad.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed; it reported that Allied occupation authorities believed that application would be received in the near future from residents in Pola to move plants and machinery from that area to Trieste. Byington expressed the opinion that in view of the consistent lack of cooperation by the Yugoslavs with Allied military authorities, the United States should not raise any objections to such transfers. (740.00119 EW/6–1146) In telegram 164, June 14, to Caserta, the Department expressed the belief that it would be unwise to permit removals of plants and machinery from Pola to Trieste at the current time. The Department hoped to obtain treaty provisions safeguarding the transfer of persons who did not desire to remain in Italian or Yugoslav territory following the boundary settlement. (740.00119 ETW/6–1146)
  5. In telegram 623, June 26, from Caserta, Byington reported that the Yugoslav detachment located within Zone A presented a serious military problem in planning the defense of Zone A. The Yugoslav detachment occupied high ground adjacent to Duino and might have as its first task, in event of a Yugoslav attack, the assignment of capturing XIIIth Corps Headquarters. (740.00119 Control (Italy)/6–2646)