Editorial Note

On April 14, 1950, Ambassador Allen called on the Deputy Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, Vladimir Popović, to make certain statements as part of a parallel approach to the Government of Yugoslavia by the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The statements responded to earlier ones made by Yugoslavia’s [Page 1318] Deputy Foreign Minister, Leo Mates, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Vejvedo to the Italian Minister at Belgrade, Mr. Martino. These statements were reported in telegram 1537 of April 7, 1950, from the Secretary of State to the Embassy in France; not printed. The Yugoslav officials had informed the Italians that the only agreement that the Yugoslav Government could possibly enter into with Italy would be one which provided for the retention of Zone B by Yugoslavia and the return of Zone A to Italy. They further stated that they did not believe that the British and United States Governments would go to war over Zone B nor that these governments would put pressure on Yugoslavia over Zone B. (665.68/4–1050)

After consultation with the British and French Governments, reported in telegrams 1457 from the Secretary of State to the Embassy in France (665.68/4–550), 1915 from the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Secretary of State (665.68/4–1050), and 1617 from the Secretary of State to the Embassy in Yugoslavia (665.68–1150), none printed, Ambassador Allen made a presentation to Mr. Popović, reported in telegram 491 from the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Secretary of State, not printed. Ambassador Allen said: “After considerable study of the Trieste question by the US, the UK, and the French Govts, I am instructed to express the views of my Govt, arrived at in consultation with the Govts of Great Britain, and France. They are:

  • “1. The earnest hope both Yugo and Italy will avoid further provocative speech and action and will make serious efforts to extend area of agreement. While we recognize Yugo statements of [having] no intention to annex Zone B, we hope Yugo will especially avoid any acts which arouse fears of such annexation.
  • “2. Interests of both Yugo and Italy in stabilizing their relations generally through overall review outstanding matters.
  • “3. We are interested in maintenance of good Yugo-Ital relations, but primarily responsibility rests with the two Govts, and we have no intention entering into substance except where we may be concerned as occupying power or where mutually consulted.
  • “4. We believe area of agreement exists. Both sides have said they earnestly desired settlement, which we accept as genuine.” (665.68/4–1450) The Yugoslav Government responded that it had no intention of annexing Zone B (665.68/4–1450).

On April 21, 1950, Ambassador Dunn made the following statement in Rome to Count Sforza, reported in Rome’s telegram 1647 to the Secretary of State, not printed:

“My Govt, as has recently been made clear to the Ital Emb in Wash, is anxious for an early settlement of the Trieste problem. The US Govt has, therefore, in concert with the UK and French Govt, considered what action can be taken and, in particular, what action [Page 1319] shld be taken as a result of the Ital Govt’s approach of Mar 23 concerning the abolition of the customs barrier between Zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste and Yugo.” (665.68/4–2150) The Ambassador then informed the Italian Foreign Minister of the points that had been made to Deputy Foreign Minister Popović by Ambassador Allen on April 14, 1950, and urged the Italian Government to continue to refrain from making statements or taking actions which might be construed as provocative in Yugoslavia (665.68/4–2150).

On April 20, 1950, the Soviet Government delivered a note on the Free Territory of Trieste to the Ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France at Moscow. For the text of the Soviet note, see Documents on International Affairs, 1949–1950 (London, Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1953), page 515. The main thrust of the Soviet note was an accusation that the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France had violated the Treaty of Peace with Italy with respect to the Free Territory of Trieste, and that these governments had been obstructing the appointment of a governor for Trieste for a period of three years.

On April 21, 1950, the Department of State released to the press a statement by Secretary Acheson on the Soviet note on Trieste. For the text of this statement, see Department of State Bulletin, May 1, 1950, page 701. In that statement the Secretary said that the Soviet note was a repetition of a number of out-worn arguments, with the addition of some new and wholly false allegations of violations of the Italian peace treaty, which could only be taken as an attempt to disrupt efforts to achieve a solution to the Trieste question among the parties most directly concerned.