840.811/7–748: Telegram

The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Reams) to the Secretary of State


851. New situation Yugoslavia vs Soviet bloc would seem alter western strategy re Danube Conference (my 849, July 7)1 which may now be turned into testing ground for present latitudinal instability Yugoslav Government.

We think all participants will be looking beyond conference to possibility altered alignments and we have little doubt Soviet strategy will be to make Yugoslavs stand out in front opposing UK and US frontally whenever possible and seeking thus to embarrass or prejudice any future understandings in months to come when Soviet power will attempt Tito’s2 destruction.

Yugoslavs perhaps even unwittingly may facilitate this tactic. They will just have emerged from their party congress where defiance will have been hurled at other CP’s. They will be all the more eager demonstrate their Communist orthodoxy and impress other CP representatives present with intention and ability stand up to west. As for Russians I can only report they have suddenly become affable to degree unprecedented here. They and satellites now attend British, Canadian and US parties, arrive early and stay very late. Local conference invitation arrangements with them were remarkably amiable. We note contrast this attitude and Soviet CP refusal Yugoslav invitation attend party congress here.

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We think nothing in Yugoslav situation can be more important at this time than preserving unimpaired our opportunities and possibilities for influencing in future course of Yugoslav developments. Fact that constructive possibilities at conference itself seem so few only strengthen this opinion.

Accordingly we urge new consideration previous UK and French preference to block conference in advance by insistance on prior agreement re unanimity new decisions or retention 1921 convention. Alternatively if UK delegation given instructions insist on settlement procedural aspects first under threat withdrawal (Embtel 790, June 21)3 we suggest, because of importance avoiding any potential impairment our local negotiating position, no attempt be made alter British Foreign Office from stand.

Sent Department 851; repeated London 143. Department pass Moscow as 161.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Marshal Josip Broz (Tito), President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of National Defense of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
  3. Not printed.