767.00/8–2549: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy 1

top secret

1930. For Amb Cannon and Page.2 Re letter Aug 12 to Page from Thompson.3 There follows text London FonOff instr to Peake4 in Belgrade which Brit Emb here has suggested we associate ourselves with:

“I suggest that, if approached, you might tell Yugo auth Free Albanian Comite has our general approval but that we do not regard it as Govt-in-exile nor does it claim to be such. You may, if you wish, mention similar Hung, Rum and other Comites which exist here (London) or in US. We merely welcome it as rallying point if Hoxha régime were to collapse and plunge Albania once more into chaos with all the attendant dangers to international peace”.

Above text contained following sentence: “You should also deny that formation of Free Albanian Comite portends any active measures by us against Albanian Govt”. We do not believe any such statement should be volunteered to Yugos and have so informed Brit Emb here.

It is suggested you consult with Peake with view to adopting same attitude with Yugos if queried.5

  1. This telegram was repeated to Belgrade as 483.
  2. Cavendish W. Gannon, Ambassador in Yugoslavia, visited Rome briefly at the end of August, presumably to consult with officers of the Embassy there. Telegram 535, September 13, to Belgrade, not printed, indicates that Cannon was briefed on the Albanian situation while in Rome (875.00/9–1349). Edward Page, Jr. was Counselor of the Embassy in Rome.
  3. The letter under reference from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Llewellyn E. Thompson cannot be further identified.
  4. Sir Charles Peake, British Ambassador in Yugoslavia.
  5. Circular telegram of August 26 to the Embassies in Rome, Athens, Ankara, Stockholm, and Paris and the Legation in Vienna, not printed, stated that the establishment of the Free Albania Committee would be announced that day in Paris. The chiefs of mission were authorized to inform the governments to which they were accredited that the Free Albania Committee had been formed on the initiative of anti-Communist Albanian exile leaders who hoped for the eventual restoration of freedom and independence to Albania. The mission chiefs were also authorized to indicate that the United States Government naturally was interested in the Committee’s objectives which appeared to parallel those of national committees formed by exile leaders from other Eastern European countries. (875.00/8–2649)