860S.00/6–2949: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


2238. Brit Emb here has shown us Peak’s report of conversation with Mates and FonOff instrs to Peake, which approve his course thus far and suggest he listen without comment to anything further Yugos may have to say. (Re Belgrade’s 602 Jun 21;2 London’s 2414 Jun 223 and 2456 Jun 24;4 Moscow’s 1606 Jun 24;5 Rome’s 1912 Jun 246).

[Page 510]

Dept stands on Mar 20 proposal on FTT and wld not suggest partition to other interested govts. Furthermore, not inclined consider it desirable press at this time for early implementation Mar 20 proposal. In present interntl situation, question of contd presence US and UK forces FTT as stabilizing element that area is fundamental in Depts thinking. Developments leading to their early withdrawal not considered necessarily desirable under present circumstances.

Dept believes Itals also aware importance this consideration, and especially in light of recent report by Brit Amb Rome on conversation with Sforza, which Brit Emb showed us, believes Itals not anxious take initiative at this time.

In addition to commercial negots, Itals are considering further Yugo proposals for dipl resolution border impasse which not unrelated FTT question itself. If Yugos take initiative in approaching Itals re FTT during one of these negots or elsewhere. Dept naturally wld consider in light all currently relevant factors any compromise on FTT on which they and Itals might in future agree.

Indeed, in present situation, Dept considers Yugo agreement on formula which wld save face for Tito and have his support indispensable element any solution. There cld therefore, for example, be no consideration return even US–UK Zone to Italy without Yugo agreement, even if Sovs shld agree.

If Sov Govt shld accede in principle to Mar 20 proposal prior to Italo-Yugo agreement, Dept wld fol course calculated both (a) to confirm good faith in joining in original proposal for return FTT to Italy, and (b) to avoid action inimical to Tito or impracticable in light presence Yugo forces in part of FTT. Obvious difficulty in so acting wld arise if Sov response so framed as clearly designed embarrass Tito. In these circumstances, and subject to consideration exact nature any Sov move, Dept believes US, UK, and France shld promptly reply to Sov response along lines that they prepared go forward with negots, which as practical matter must provide for Yugo as well as Ital participation or at least consultation. Subsequent developments wld be important in determining further action.

In any event, Peace Treaty eld not in our view be revised without agreement at least US, UK, France, USSR, Yugo and Italy (and possibly all other Govts which have ratified or adhered to treaty). In addition, formula for relinquishment by SC of responsibility for FTT assumed in Jan. 10, 1947,7 resolution wld also have to be found, although this presumably wld not be difficult if major interested powers agree as contemplated above.

[Page 511]

Foregoing views being informally conveyed Brit Emb here in response their query. Dept desires addressees take no initiative this matter for present but continue report fully indications views other govts concerned.

  1. Repeated to Belgrade as 336, to Moscow as 478, to Rome as 1343, to Paris as 2336.
  2. Supra.
  3. See footnote 2, p. 508.
  4. In this telegram, not printed, Ambassador Douglas reported having learned from Rumbold that G. V. Winspeare of the Italian Embassy had asked him whether the British “were going to do anything”. Rumbold replied negatively but opined that the solution lay in conversations on Trieste between the Yugoslavs and Italians; he was not suggesting that the Italians take the initiative but indicated that the British would look with favor on the holding of such conversations. (860S.00/6–2449)
  5. Scheduled for publication in volume v.
  6. In this telegram, not printed, Ambassador Dunn warned that any pressure on the Italians such as suggested in Belgrade’s telegram 602 would be most undesirable because prior to the March 20 declaration the United States had given De Gasperi the alternative of partition which he had immediately rejected. Dunn added that any pressure now would diminish Italian confidence in the word of the United States Government and appear to justify the Communist propaganda that the declaration of March 20 was merely an electoral trick. (860S.00/6–2449)
  7. For text of the resolution of January 10, 1947 (No. 16) see United Nations, Official Records of the Security Council, Second Year, Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council, 1947, p. 1.