860H.001 Peter II/2–1748: Airgram

The Minister in Switzerland (Vincent) to the Secretary of State


A–50. Following memorandum prepared for the Minister by Lieutenant Colonel Harrington, Assistant Military Attaché, and transmitted through the Military Attaché Colonel Allan:

“Ex-King Peter and his ADC, General Orlovic, have finally received visas for travel to the United States. King Peter plans to sail in mid-March, while Orlovic plans to fly on 15 March. Although Peter has received his visas on the basis of travelling in a private capacity, his actions and interests of the past few years indicate he is prepared with any encouragement to enter discussions on other subjects with authorized US representatives.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Page 401]

“On 26 August, 1947, King Peter addressed a letter1 to the Military Attaché specifically requesting assistance to travel to the United States in order to clarify his position with respect to the United States Government. This letter clearly emphasized his feeling that he alone was the proper representative to lead his people from Communist domination. King Peter requested a definite and prompt answer. No reply has been received from the Department of the Army.

“Since conversations in London during the recent royal wedding,2 Peter appears to have become somewhat more optimistic of the possibility of re-establishment of royal Yugoslav diplomatic missions in several countries, and it is probable that this may be one of the matters that he will wish to investigate. Another principal item on his agenda is the protection or repossession of a considerable portion of the gold stocks now blocked by the United States, and alleged by the present Yugoslav Government to be government funds. Peter alleges that funds of the National Bank are represented by shares and that Peter and his father were principal stockholders and that this money represents private interests.

“Peter also intends to re-establish contact on a more intimate working basis with former Ambassador Fotitch3 and other leaders of the Serbian groups. He would also like to establish contact with Mikolajczyk,4 Macek,5 Nagy,6 and Michael of Rumania7 if the latter carries out his plans to go to the United States.

“It should be emphasized that Peter still does not wish to do anything that will compromise his position with respect to the United States, and consequently asks guidance with respect to any statements he may, or may not make to the press on arrival, what sort of activities and contacts would be accepted by the United States.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Not printed.
  2. The reference here is to the marriage in London in September 1947 of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
  3. Wartime Ambassador to the United States of the Yugoslav Government in Exile, Konstantin Fotić (Fotitch).
  4. Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile in London, 1943–1944; Minister of Agriculture in the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity, 1945–1947; head of the Polish Peasant Party; in exile in the United States from the latter part of 1947.
  5. Vladimir Maček (Macek), leader of the Croatian Agrarian Party; in exile in the United States from 1945.
  6. Ferenc Nagy, leader of the Hungarian Smallholders’ Party; Hungarian Prime Minister, November 1945–June 1947.
  7. King Michael abdicated the Romanian throne in December 1947. Airgram A–62, March 2, 1948, from Bern, not printed, reported that Peter had been disappointed with the results of conversations with Michael who appeared to have “thrown in the sponge and either through fear or disinterest is prepared to withdraw permanently from the Rumanian national scene.” (860H–001 Peter II/3–248)