Defense Files: Telegram

The Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Acting Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater (Lee)

top secret

WAR 98451 (Fan 756). Reference Naf 1313.1

We understand that sequence of events is likely to be as follows:
Completion of legislative action enabling Big Four to ratify. This has already been accomplished in the case of Great Britain and [Page 77] is expected to be accomplished by France and Soviet Russia by 15 May. Date of action by U.S. Senate is however still uncertain and may well not be until some time in June.
Ratification by Yugoslavia and Italy. There is little reason to suppose that Yugoslavia will not ratify once Soviet Russia has. Italian attitude is still uncertain but there is good reason to hope that they will ratify as soon as U.S. Senate has approved American ratification.
Deposit of ratification by Big Four thus bringing treaty into force. It may be considered desirable that all four ratifications should be deposited simultaneously but clearly no steps can be taken to fix date until after U.S. Senate has approved ratification. It will be necessary at that time also to consider whether Big Four should deposit their ratifications and bring treaty into force even though Italian and Yugoslav Governments may not have ratified. It may then be agreed that treaty should not be brought into force until Italy has ratified but that it should be brought into force even though Yugoslavia may not have ratified.
Reference your paragraph 1.
We agree with your interpretation of the words “maintenance of the status quo” We do not consider that it will be necessary to evict Yugoslav Detachment of 2,000 by force. You should therefore not plan for this eventuality.
Reference your paragraph 6.
It is considered that the necessary agreements with the Italian Government for the use of Italian territory after the treaty has come into force must be made between the Italian Government and the U.S. and British Governments respectively, but action in this respect will probably not be initiated until it is clear that the Yugoslav Government does not propose to ratify. Therefore you should take no action in this matter at present.
Reference your paragraph 7.
We agree that Allied command of the land forces must continue until both the treaty has come into force and Yugoslav ratification has been deposited, but we see no reason why the present AFHQ should not be abolished on R Day as agreed in Fan 719.
Reference your paragraph 9.
It is confirmed that the personnel and stores, which will be necessary to enable you to maintain your forces at a minimum strength of 8 British and 7 and one-half U.S. combat battalions until the treaty has come into force and Yugoslavian ratification has been deposited, will be provided.

  1. Not printed.