Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins) to the Secretary of State

[Extracts] top secret

In connection with his talk with you on Yugoslavia and Greece, Mr. Bevin will raise the subject of Albania.1… We have made it clear that we have taken no final decision but have merely agreed at this stage to make plans and obtain information. We have proceeded with the formation of an Albanian National Committee.…

On the occasion of announcing the creation of the Albanian National Committee, the British suggested that their ambassador in Belgrade, and ours if we so desired, inform Marshal Tito of this step in advance of the announcement. In view of our strong opposition, the British dropped this plan.

This and other indications lead us to believe that the British may be more disposed than we are at the present time to deal with the Yugoslav regime on a basis of trust and friendship. Tito has a large number of Albanian refugees under his control in Yugoslavia and doubtless has his own plans for action in Albania should an appropriate opportunity present itself. We believe we should be extremely careful not to get involved with Tito in any plans for Albania at this time and that we should retain complete freedom of action. While we could unquestionably stir up a serious revolution which would possibly overthrow the present Albanian regime, the consequences of such action are by no means clear and might risk involving Yugoslavia and Greece in a conflict over this question. This might result in the partition of Albania between the two countries or, in view of the greater strength of Yugoslavia, in the domination of all Albania by Yugoslavia. Either of these alternatives might be more desirable than the present situation, but we do not yet feel ready to reach such a conclusion in view of the possible repercussions and the risk of stirring up major conflict.

We favor therefore continuing with our present plans and operations carefully reviewing the situation as we go along and should discourage the British from any premature opening up of this question with the Yugoslav Government. We have recalled our Counselor in [Page 315] Yugoslavia, Mr. Reams,2 for consultation and will be glad to have more detailed discussions on this subject with the British representatives here.

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

[George W. Perkins]
  1. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ernest Bevin was in Washington in connection with the meetings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Council. On September 14 Bevin met with Secretary of State Acheson and discussed a number of topics including Yugoslavia, Greece, and Albania. For the record of the discussion on Greece, see documentation on the interest of the United States in the conclusion of the Greek civil War and the solution of Greece’s border problems with its northern neighbors scheduled for publication in volume vi. The record of the discussion on Yugoslavia is printed on p. 955. The record of the discussion on Albania appears infra.
  2. Robert B. Reams, Counselor of the Embassy in Yugoslavia.