740.00116 EW/2–1447: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Yugoslavia


127. Urtels 184 Feb 261 and 137 Feb 14.2 On receipt similar instructions by and in concert with your Brit colleague send note, unless you perceive objection, to FonOff referring Royse’s visit Belgrade and containing in substance following five paragraphs:

US and UK Govts wish express to Yugo Govt their sincere determination to hand over those persons who can be found in camps in Italy under Allied control who are quislings requested by Yugos and proved members of Ustashi to whose surrender both Govts3 agree.
US and UK Govts cannot accept, and so propose subsequently to inform Ital Govt, any responsibility for apprehension and surrender Yugo quislings at large in Italy to whose surrender both Govts agree. Both Govts, however, are prepared give to Ital Govt such assistance as they can to ensure arrest these persons.
US and UK Govts do not contemplate surrender those refugees whom they consider innocent of willful collaboration with enemy. Both Govts propose make available to Ital Govt lists of quislings whose surrender they agree, and tell Itals that in opinion both Govts, who have carefully examined evidence in each individual case, Itals [Page 780] would be well advised accept decisions reached. At same time both Govts will inform Itals that surrender Yugo refugees whose collaboration with enemy was not indisputably established would create worst impression on US and UK public opinion.
US and UK Govts earnestly desire that as many refugees as possible should return home voluntarily and urge on Yugo Govt need to adopt measures removing honest doubts of many refugees about homeland conditions.
To that end both Govts suggest that Yugo Govt should (a) publish amnesty for all Yugos in exile other than those previously publicly charged as war criminals or collaborators; (b) arrange in consultation with US and UK authorities in Italy to provide Yugos in camps in Italy with info re conditions in Yugo, possibly using displaced Yugos who have since returned to Yugo for this purpose; (c) permit number of Yugos from camps to make short visit Yugo to observe conditions and on their return to Italy report observations to others; (d) improve mail facilities to allow refugees correspond freely with their families in Yugo.

Dept airmailing for your info copy note Feb 25 to Yugo Amb here stating Yugo requests for surrender Ital war criminals should be made to Ital Govt.4

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 9 to Cabot’s memorandum of conversation of February 25, p. 768.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 3 to telegram 141, February 15, from Belgrade, p. 762.
  3. Telegram 177, March 28, to Belgrade, not printed, instructed that the phrase “and proved members of Ustashi” be omitted from the note presented to the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry. This amendment had been agreed upon by United States and British representatives in Washington. The telegram added the following with respect to this omission:

    “For urinfo it is intended instruct screening teams consider Ustashi on same basis as others, i. e. each case will be judged individually and on its merits.” (860H.00/3–1947)

  4. Not printed.