860S.00/4–447: Telegram

The Representative of the United States Political Adviser ( Cole ), at the Headquarters of Allied Military Government in Venezia Giulia, to the Secretary of State


17. Impasse in present boundary commission raises practical matter of location frontier posts in disputed stations when US forces evacuate area. Despite fact Yugoslavs proposed neither Yugoslav nor Italian troops be allowed in these sections, it is to be assumed they themselves would not conform; even if complying with letter of such agreement influx of agents anticipated. Difficulties in securing provisionally agreed boundary keynote what will subsequently arise during work of final boundary commission. Convinced that what Yugoslavs gain provisionally, they are determined to retain permanently. Therefore, concurrence with Yugoslavs’ proposal for vacuums out of question.

This cable 10 from Stilwell my suggestion re solution follows: We are assuming Yugoslav ratification treaty US troops withdraw per schedule inside all agreed sections provisional boundary, b. Where sections in dispute, US troops withdraw to and man US conception French line. On this line contacts will be made with Yugoslavs moving up. c. As soon as practicable thereafter (2–3 days), US troops to [Page 68] be relieved by Italian frontier troops, and then proceed with planned phase out to Leghorn, d. Remarks. Critical point is that initial impact on our conception French line be between US and Yugoslav troops, not Yugo–Italians. Thus, simply withdrawing through Italians will not fill bill. Once US troops stabilize line by their presence thereon, Yugoslavs not likely subsequently to risk an overact to gain possession their provisional claims, since no sovereignty question involved. On the other hand, if Yugoslavs and Italians meet initially and brief scurry which resulted in Yugoslavs holding their claimed line would be written off as a misunderstanding, but Yugoslavs would be in physical possession [apparent garble]. British contention that it is strictly a matter for resolution by Yugoslavs and Italians understandable since no UK troops involved along [apparent garble] part of boundary. If flareup occurred as result initial contact of Yugoslavs and Italians, US would alone be responsible.

Repeated Rome 29.

Pass to War for Plans Operations. Not sent MTOUSA, although contents discussed with that HQ.