740.00119 EW/5–1447

The Secretary of State to the Yugoslav Ambassador (Kosanović)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Ambassador of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and has the honor to refer to his note Pov. No. 766 of May 14, 1947,1 concerning the matter of outstanding questions relative to the disposition of war booty claimed by the Yugoslav Army in Zone A of Venezia Giulia.

[Page 82]

The United States Government is in full accord with the Yugoslav Government in desiring a final and satisfatory solution of this matter at the earliest possible moment. While the most careful consideration has been given to the views of the Yugoslav Government concerning the matters still remaining in dispute, the United States Government regrets that it cannot fully agree with those views and remains of the opinion that the disposition of war booty must be governed by the principles set forth in the Department’s note of March 5, 1947.2

In the Department’s note of March 5, 1947, the Yugoslav Government was informed that the Supreme Allied Commander had full authority to resolve remaining problems concerning war booty disposal in consultation with competent Yugoslav military authorities. Concurrently it was stated that it was believed that no useful purpose would be served by appointment of a special representative to deal with the problem. In view of the further request of the Yugoslav Government the United States Government is now agreeable to the establishment of a special commission in accordance with Paragraph 2, Annex F of the Duino Agreement3 for the specific purpose of exploring still further every possibility for settlement of remaining war booty problems.

Accordingly, the United States Government has agreed to the designation of a representative, or representatives, of the Supreme Allied Commander, in association with his United States and British Political Advisers, to constitute the United States-British representation on the special commission.4 These representatives have been instructed to initiate direct negotiations with the Yugoslav Liaison Officer at Trieste for the purpose of establishing the special commission.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not found in Department of State files. The note, however, is summarized in Department telegram 13, March 5, to Caserta, not printed (740.00119 EW/3–547).
  3. Appendix F, “War Booty,” stipulated in paragraph 2:

    “It is agreed that appropriate machinery must be set up to determine at the earliest possible moment Jugoslav claims respecting war booty. In view of the apparently complicated nature of the cases presented, the nature, constitution and powers of any commission or other tribunal which may be established to consider these matters will be reserved for later agreement upon fuller examination of the types of cases involved.” (Roll 342–C, Microfilm Records of Allied Force Headquarters, NARS, Alexandria, Virginia)

  4. Department telegram 50, June 18, to Leghorn, not printed, directed AmPolAd to serve on a commission to dispose of the remaining war booty problems. It was “presumed that SAC has already turned over all war booty eligible under his instructions” and “it is contemplated that creation of commission, in response to repeated Yugo requests, will serve only to afford opportunity to re-examine general problems and explore all possible solutions and also explain thoroughly to Yugos US–UK position.” (740.00119EW/3–547)