840.50 Recovery/2–2649: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State


712. Department will have received Foreign Office views (telegraphed to British Embassy February 21 for communication to Department) re danger of too early or too precipitous advances to Tito by Western Powers.1 Though British and our thinking similar as to long term goals they are not in agreement with US as to immediate course of action to pursue. Wallinger2 emphasized this in conversation February 25 when he told Embassy officer that British views had been sent to Washington, by saying that unfortunately they arrived too late, that is after decision of NSC and President (of which Foreign Office had been informed by British Embassy).

In discussion paragraphs one through nine of Deptel 606, February 22,3 Wallinger stressed inevitability of Russians learning of change in our policy toward Tito and possible Russian reaction. (See [Page 876] Torep 634, Toeca 738.4) He said that regardless of our intent not to make any public announcement of any kind nor to make any formal statement re new policy Russians would know of change almost as soon as we notified OEEC countries as contemplated in paragraph five reftel.

Wallinger stated that by moving in too fast just at present when Russians are closing in on Tito (publication of correspondence re denial to Yugoslavia of membership in EMA Council,5 elimination of diversionist elements in Markos forces, and Russian moves in connection with Trieste and Austrian treaty) we risked provoking strenuous Russian reaction and added “they might even shoot Tito”.

Our policies toward east-west trade in general and Yugoslavia in particular will be most effective if closely coordinated with British. Therefore, it would be desirable to reach agreement as to timing and implementation of policy so far as possible.

Sent Department 712, repeated Paris 129.

  1. Telegram 674, March 1, to London, repeated to Harriman at Paris as 628, not printed, commented on the first sentence of this message. It suggested that an appropriate opportunity Ambassador Douglas might indicate to the British Foreign Office that current U.S. policy on Yugoslavia involved no advances but merely placed the U.S. in a position to deal with advances that Yugoslavia might make. Revision of export licensing policy was necessary to provide adequate flexibility in case such advances were made (660H.119/2–2649).
  2. Geoffrey A. Wallinger, Head of the Southern Department, British Foreign Office.
  3. Not printed; see footnote 2 to telegram 92 to Belgrade, supra.
  4. Neither printed.
  5. i.e., the Soviet-sponsored Council for Economic Mutual Assistance of Eastern European satellites.