501.BC/2–1149: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin)


70. Below is our preliminary thinking on position US shd take when SC meeting is called on governorship for Trieste.

Dept presenting these views UK and French through Embs for comment those Govts. You may discuss with UKDel and French and pass their views and your comments for further consideration Dept prior meeting.

Since Sovs called meeting, it is for them to explain reasons for doing so and make if they wish new proposals. UK, France and US might therefore at least at outset take passive role of listener. If Sovs again give their version of history of Trieste question in SC with usual charges of delaying tactics against UK and US and perhaps advance new candidates, three Western Powers might take following line:

As for charges of delaying tactics we might refer to Cadogan’s2 rebuttal in 350th meeting (SC Official Records 104 pp. 15).
If Sovs advance new candidates you might say SC will recall US–UK–French note to Sovs and Itals dtd Mar 20 copy of which circulated as S/707 Mar 31, 1948. In this note three Western Powers proposed to Sov Union and Italy that they join Western Powers in agreement on additional protocol to Ital Peace Treaty which would return FTT to Ital sovereignty. This proposal motivated primarily by fact that Yugo zone completely transformed in character and virtually incorporated in Yugo police state so as to make independent and democratic status for Territory impossible. In view of Western Powers, return to Italy only solution to meet democratic aspiration of people in FTT and reestablish stability in area. Inasmuch as SC has assumed responsibility for independence and territorial integrity of FTT three Western Powers stated they will submit to SC for approval arrangements to be jointly agreed upon. Ital Govt accepted proposal of Western Powers.
Since Sov Union failed reply this proposal US delivered further note to Sov Emb in Wash on Apr 9, 19483 (Dept press release 277, Apr 9, 1948) proposing preliminary meeting to draft necessary protocol. In note Apr 13, 19484 (copy pouched) Sov Union replied it “considered proposal to solve problem concerning revision of Treaty Peace with Italy in any of its parts, by way of correspondence or arrangement of private conferences, unacceptable as violating elementary principles of democracy”.
In further note Apr 16, 1948 (Dept press release 300, Apr 16, 1948) to Sov Emb in Wash Acting SecState pointed out meeting envisaged in preceding US note was to be of preliminary character as first step of procedure. Acting SecState stated Govt of US would be glad to consider any suggestion which Sov Government may have re procedure for drafting necessary protocol to Ital Treaty.
Since no reply was forthcoming from Sov Govt SecState forwarded another note to Sov Emb on June 1, 1948 (Dept press release 435, June 1, 1948) expressing hope that Sov Govt will communicate its views at early date concerning procedure to be followed for joint consideration of matter by powers concerned. US Govt still awaiting reply this note.
Meanwhile two zones of FTT being administered by respective military commands under Art 1 Annex VII Peace Treaty. Both US–UK and Yugo military commanders have forwarded reports to SC on their administration.
In view of above, we should make clear that in our view discussion of Governorship would not serve any constructive purpose.5
If it becomes necessary to justify further contention of Western Powers as to unworkability of present FTT Treaty arrangement you might refer to generally known fact that police state forms of govt were extended by Yugo to its zone with all attributes of totalitarian regime which make impossible unification with US–UK zone into independent democratic territory along lines prescribed by Peace Treaty. Under these circumstances setting up of “independent” territory would mean creating an area open to indirect aggression through pattern well tested throughout Eastern Europe and most recently in Czechoslovakia. However, we do not wish at this point to attack Yugo beyond minimum necessary for explanation of our Mar 20 proposal.

  1. Sir Alexander Cadogan, British Representative at the United Nations.
  2. For text of this note, see Department of State Bulletin, April 18, 1948, p. 522. For text of the note delivered at the same time to the Italian Ambassador, see ibid., p. 521.
  3. For the English translation of the text of the Soviet note of April 13, see Department of State Bulletin, April 26, 1948, p. 549.
  4. For previous documentation on the problem of the governorship of the FTT, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iii, p. 502 ff.