750G.00/5–950: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


2629. Dept concludes, after consideration views Embs Rome, Belgrade, and Moscow,2 that reply to Sov note on Trieste can not be avoided. In addition to reasons set forth Deptel 22413 May 12 there is now Sov refusal fix date for future mtgs Aust Treaty Deputies4 until reply on Trieste recd. Also believe re Moscow tel 14835 May 25 [Page 1320] rptd London 233 Trieste note6 shld be without ref to Aust Treaty, since latter will be subj further note at later date.

Reurtel 2710 May 177 Dept now shares Brit and Fr views (Paris tel 2465 May 23)8 as to effect reiteration Mar 20 proposal. Concerned, however, that language proposed fifth sentence para 2 and para 3 Brit draft9 might give Sov Govt unnecessarily generous opening further to embarrass us by either accepting Mar 20 proposal or coming up with “another solution” such as swapping implementation for an Aust Treaty.

While we have no substantive objection first two sentences second para Brit draft,10 still prefer first para Dept’s draft in Deptel 2241,11 and propose revised second para to read as fols:

“The impossibility of execution of Treaty was at basis proposal addressed by three Govts to Sov Govt on Mar 20, 1948. Far from representing an attempt violate Peace Treaty as Sov note further alleges this proposal was an invitation to Sov Govt join in amending Peace Treaty to achieve a permanent, peaceful settlement Trieste question based on consideration of welfare and wishes inhabitants of area. US Govt convinced that such a settlement can best be achieved [Page 1321] by agreement among parties directly concerned. Sov Govt’s latest intervention this question was obviously designed to sow confusion and impede such mutually satis agreement and hence injure cause of peace by delaying consolidation of harmonious internatl relations in Adriatic area.”

In this connection, do not believe texts three Govts replies need be identical, but do believe they shld be substantially similar to avoid any appearance disunity, which wld jeopardize possibilities settlement this question. Accordingly, hope that Brit and Fr will agree to modify their draft to keep it in line with our proposed second para.

Dept believes language we propose will fit satisfactorily into public atmosphere Italy as reported Rome tels 2183 May 24 and 2242 May 29.12

Re Brit preference for longer, detailed rebuttal Sov allegations re FTT admin, Dept still believes reply of such nature wld from point of view propaganda and polit value be less effective than shorter version. Dept suggests as alternative that Gen Airey be requested to frame his forthcoming report on admin Zone A with view to refutation Sov charges of mil basis and AMG mal-admin but without specific ref to these charges. Dept believes this procedure wld have added merit of getting before SC document on which refutation can be based if Sov Govt takes matter there or to GA.

Re Brit query re manner in which US has publicly made clear views on agreement between interested parties, SecState in press conf April 1213 replied to question re Sforza’s Milan speech suggesting settlement with Yugo that US Govt has always hoped that two nations cld work out together solution Trieste matter so is thoroughly sympathetic with suggestion. For SecState statement Apr 21 press conf re Sov note see WB14 94 Apr 21.

Dept proposes hand copies our reply to Sov note to Yugo and Ital Ambs here after its delivery Moscow, and to take occasion raise with Yugo Amb matter Zone B travel restrs. Brit Emb May 17 informed Dept Bevin, after conversation with Sforza, had instructed Brit Amb Belgrade take up with Yugo auths question Zone B travel restrs, avoiding debate on merits actions Zone B officials and concentrating on gen thesis that if there is to be favorable atmosphere for Italo-Yugo negots on Trieste question, both sides must avoid actions which other finds provocative. FonOff hoped Dept wld similarly instr Belgrade. Ital Govt has also expressed hope something can be done to [Page 1322] restore situation Zone B. As it appears from Trieste tel 319 May 2715 rptd London 18 and from info recd by Brit Emb here Peake has already made representations. Dept doubts, considering time lapse, effectiveness parallel step by US Amb Belgrade now. Belgrade will, however, be auth to raise Zone B travel restrs in gen terms if occasion arises.

  1. Repeated to Rome as 1932, Belgrade as 416, Trieste as 323, Paris as 2493, and Moscow as 467.
  2. The views of these Embassies on the Soviet note of April 20.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Documentation with respect to the Soviet position on Austrian Treaty Deputies is scheduled for publication in volume iv.
  5. Not printed; in it Kirk reported that he had been discussing with the British Embassy at Moscow possible courses of action in regard to Soviet charges that the United States had failed to respond to the Soviet Union on Trieste and the Soviet tactic of making progress on Austria dependent on Trieste (750G.00/5–2250).
  6. The possible reply to the Soviet note of April 20.
  7. Not printed; Ambassador Douglas had reported that the British Foreign Office felt that anything short of a reiteration of adherence to the declaration of March 20, 1948, on Trieste would upset the Italians and that therefore such a statement must be included in any reply to the Soviet Union (750G.00/5–1750).
  8. Not printed.
  9. This was reported in London’s telegram 2710 of May 17, 1950, to the Secretary of State; not printed. Paragraph 3 of the British draft reads as follows:

    “3. HMG trust that the Soviet Government will recognize that the project for a free territory had been shown to be impracticable and will agree that another solution must be found.”

    Sentence 5 of paragraph 2 of the British draft reads: “The Soviet Government not having accepted the proposal of the three powers it has not been implemented.” (750G.00/5–1750)

  10. The first two sentences of the second paragraph of the British draft read as follows:

    “His Majesty’s Government reject categorically the allegation that they together with the US and the French Governments have violated the treaty of peace with Italy in respect of Trieste by hindering the appointment of a governor. The truth is that it was the obstructive attitude of the Soviet Government towards the choice of a governor which made it impossible to carry out the intentions of the peace treaty, and which led HMG together with the US Government and the French Government to the conclusion that the Free Territory solution contemplated in the peace treaty was unworkable.” (750G.00/5–1750)

  11. Not printed; the first paragraph of the Department of State’s draft reply to the Soviet Government was reported therein. This reads: “US Govt has considered the Soviet note of Apr 20, re FTT. US Govt rejects categorically the allegation that US, UK and Fr have violated Treaty of Peace with Italy in respect to Trieste. Insofar as it has not been possible to implement the provisions of that Treaty, responsibility lies squarely upon Sov Govt whose conduct fol the conclusion of the Treaty rendered the settlement envisaged therein impossible of execution. Continued admin of part of territory of Trieste by US and UK and maintenance there of small Allied mil contingents to assist in that admin is pursuant to obligations assumed by US and the UK under Art I of Annex VII of Treaty. US and UK have of course never had naval base or naval installations of any kind at Trieste.” (750G.00/5–950)
  12. Neither printed.
  13. The Secretary’s brief statement was reported in the Department’s telegram 295 of April 13, 1950, to the Embassy in Yugoslavia; not printed. The statement read “We have always hoped that the two nations cld work out together a solution of that matter so we are thoroughly sympathetic with the suggestion.” (750G.00/4–1350)
  14. Wireless Bulletin. The text of the Secretary’s statement is presented in the Department of State Bulletin, May 1, 1950, p. 701.
  15. Not printed.