868.014/3–1149: Telegram

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

top secret

920. Wallinger,1 who indicated he thought Macedonian development of great importance gave us following comments on subject.

Wallinger referred to various reports: concentration of Greek guerrillas in southern Yugoslavia; border incidents along Yugoslav-Hungarian and Yugoslav-Albanian borders; troop movements; concentration in Bulgaria above Greek border. He stressed that these are only reports but said he was attending meeting today at which they would be considered by joint intelligence services.

Wallinger thought Macedonian development primary part of Soviet action against Tito but may also contemplate a “swipe” at Greece as well. On other hand, he thought it possible that Soviet determination to finish Tito might be over-riding consideration even though repercussions of Macedonian project on Greek question might be disadvantageous from Communist viewpoint. He also speculated that increased rebel push in northern Greece might be intended to insure passage through Greek territory from Bulgaria to Albania.

Wallinger thought that Macedonian development, above mentioned reports, and Molotov release from Soviet Foreign Office2 are all linked together forming part of war of nerves and increased tension possibly to be followed by major Soviet “peace offensive”. In latter connection he remarked Soviet reaching limits of expansion and can go no further without coming up against western consolidation as represented by Marshall Plan, Atlantic Pact, etc.

Sent Department 920, repeated Moscow 22, Athens 14, Belgrade 31, Sofia 7, Budapest 6.

  1. Geoffrey A. Wallinger, Head of the Southern Department, British Foreign Office.
  2. On March 5, 1949, the Soviet Government announced that Vyacheslav Mikhai-lovich Molotov bad been released from his post as Minister for Foreign Affairs and had been replaced in that position by Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky. Molotov retained his post as Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister.