860H.00/2–449: Telegram

The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Cannon) to the Secretary of State


120. Without questioning cogency Moscow’s A–11, January 51 (see also Moscow’s 91, January 132) as regards Eastern Europe satellites in general, we feel obliged again to emphasize that process of communization in Yugoslavia has long since passed early development stage therein assumed.

Any appraisal probably future evolution here must take following into account: CPY has had effective and unchallenged control of country since 1945. Non-Communist parties disappeared here as political elements of even formal significance November 1945. Final disappearance last of non-Communist decorative leaders occurred last August. Finance and industry sequestered since end war were formally nationalized December 1946 and last of retail trade May 1948. Agrarian collectivization launched August 1945 and is being steadily expanded. Communization education completed here in 1945. Campaign against Catholic Church has been waged bitterly and persistently. Compare conviction Archbishop Stepinac September 19463 with current moves elsewhere. Yugoslavs also make good case for claim that Dimitrov’s recent speech was plagiarism of Tito’s analysis of people’s democracy made in 1944 and 1945.

Further at point is Moscow’s A–13 January 64 re precedental importance 1948 Bulgarian state secrets law and travel restriction. Yugoslavia has had travel restrictions applicable to foreign individuals and areas since 1945. In April 1948 security zones requiring special and unobtainable permits for all diplomats were greatly expanded. Yugoslavia’s iron curtain on statistics and information dates from law of September 1945 on crimes against nation and state and in its unspecified but catch-all phrases would appear antedates specific Soviet enactment under reference. We will discuss particular subject separately.

Yugoslavia’s zeal over four year period in conforming to Soviet model, and we have confined analysis to criteria suggested Moscow’s A–11, is of course not enviable distinction but importance its challenge [Page 863] to Kremlin derives from just such Marxist-Leninist accomplishments. In domestic sphere Yugoslavia appears far in advance of satellites and there is no visible sign its international drive toward eventual full communization is slackening. Our 101 and 102, January 315 pouched Moscow discuss further aspects Yugoslavia’s unique position.

Sent Department; repeated Moscow 22.

  1. Not printed. It observed that 1948 closed with all effective power in Eastern European satellites concentrated in the hands of Communist-dominated “United Workers” parties. It predicted that future internal political developments in the satellites included further consolidation of the remaining non-Communist parties and liquidation of remaining capitalist elements in the economies (860C.00B/1–549).
  2. Ante, p. 856.
  3. Alojzize (Aloysius) Stepinac, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb, was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 16 years on October 11, 1946, for alleged crimes against the Yugoslav Government.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Supra.