Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Joseph N. Greene, Jr., of the Office of Western European Affairs


Participants: Lord Jellicoe, Second Secretary, British Embassy
Mr. Greene, WE

Lord Jellicoe came in to ask for clarification of some points arising out of the Note Verbale which Mr. Thompson handed Mr. Burrows on March 17,1 and of their conversation at that time.

Lord Jellicoe first asked if I could tell him what we had in mind in the second paragraph on page 4 in referring to “any appropriate [Page 1315] opportunity to remind both parties of the advantages of the settlement …”. I said that I would envisage two sorts of “appropriate” opportunities. The first would be those that come up in the course of our normal, day-to-day contacts here and abroad with Italian and Yugoslav representatives. It is the thought that, without taking the initiative in bringing the subject up, in a way which might be interpreted as pressure, we and our representatives would take advantage of openings which might be given us to make the observations suggested in our note. The adjective “appropriate” in this sort of situation, I observed, has a subjective connotation.

The other sort of opportunity which might arise would be one involving public action by the Italian or Yugoslav Governments, which might be used as a peg on which to hang a reminder. In such instances, I felt that we would envisage consulting with the British Government to determine whether the opportunity were “appropriate”.

Lord Jellicoe also asked about that part of our Note dealing with action in the event of Soviet agreement to the March 20 proposal and Mr. Burrows’ understanding of Mr. Thompson’s comment thereon. Mr. Burrows had wondered what we might do if the Italians and Yugoslavs were not at the time “currently seeking a mutually agreeable settlement” of the problem. He had understood Mr. Thompson to say that we, the United States, would probably feel that we would have to stand on the March 20 proposal. I read Lord Jellicoe Mr. Thompson’s record of this part of the conversation with Mr. Burrows,2 which seemed to clear the matter up for him; I assured him that Mr. Thompson had not intended to convey to Mr. Burrows that we are thinking of backing away from the March 20 proposal under present circumstances.

Lord Jellicoe also asked about that part of our Note (page 5) leaving over the consideration of the second question which we must consider, namely the implementation of any Italo-Yugoslav agreement. I explained that this page in our Note meant exactly what it said, namely that we here in the Department have not yet been able to get our political and legal lines organized to the point where we could put anything specific down on paper. As soon, however, as our own views do become crystallized, we will want to discuss them with HMG, and meanwhile will welcome any further views they may have.

  1. Supra.
  2. Not printed.