611.60H31/1–349: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kohler) to the Secretary of State


91. We inclined agree Belgrade’s recommendation (telegram 28, January 10 to Department1) US and western Europe should extend trade relations with Yugoslavs without trying exact political concessions, for sake of prolonging and aggravating Tito-Cominform break, encouraging non-Communist elements Soviet satellite states and securing useful contribution European recovery.

This is, of course, rather negative opportunistic approach, and even so not without its dangers. Kremlin is out to “get” Tito and clearly expects to do so eventually, however long process may take. Unless we give him enough to save him permanently—and this might involve a lot in due course—we risk eventual loss to Moscow of what we do give him. We therefore suggest that before definitely committing ourselves, Department should carefully consider: (1) whether we can in good conscience back such regime as Tito’s? (2) whether it is in fact in our long interest to try save him? (3) whether addition west economic pressures to those of Soviet orbit would bring about Tito’s downfall? (4) and if so, whether we could, or should, meanwhile take steps calculated to obtain his replacement by a more representative west-oriented regime and prevent installation Stalinist Communist puppet.

Kremlin apparently counts on our remaining relatively passive allowing them dispose of Tito at their leisure. Is it necessary or desirable for us to do so?

Sent Department 91, repeated Belgrade 3, Paris 16, London 11.

  1. Supra.