No. 105

750G.00/8–2251: Telegram

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

top secret   priority

1092. Brit Emb here informed first three paras Rome tel 812 Aug 172 and contents Deptel 1060 Aug 203 rptd above posts. According instrs recd Brit Emb, FonOff prepared inform Itals AMG will postpone elections for two months as soon as US and UK informed that Ital Yugo Govts have agreed resume negots for direct settlement on or about specific date.

Also informed Brit Emb we prepared agree with Brit views and replace our phrase Deptel 1060 to London “for a limited period” by “two months”. We urged Brit FonOff reconsider its stipulation that Ital Govt first inform us that they and Yugo Govt have agreed resume negots before elections postponed. In light Rome’s 812 such an approach to Itals wld have little chance achieving desired results of inducing them open negots with Yugos. If either had to assume responsibility for requesting negots doubtful whether progress would be made. On other hand informing Itals that Tito had indicated Yugo readiness to negotiate we could quite properly urge Itals to reply directly to this Yugo approach. Equally by granting without condition a postponement of elections for two months we would avoid overt pressure to which Zoppi objected.

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Fact elections had been postponed for only two months together with statement that purpose postponement was permit Itals opportunity negotiate with Yugo wld offer inducement. In talking Yugos we shld avoid making Itals responsible for initiating conversations. We might say Tito views had been conveyed Ital Govt and we had expressed hope that direct Ital approach wld be forthcoming in which event we urge Yugos negotiate.4

In view urgency decision as indicated Trieste tel 224 Aug 22 rptd Rome 47 Belgrade 42 London 185 effort shld be made secure Brit FonOff approval above procedure soonest.6

  1. Drafted by Hilton and cleared with Bonbright and EE; repeated to Rome, Belgrade, Trieste, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 812 summarized a conversation between Minister Llewellyn Thompson and Vittorio Zoppi, Secretary-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during which Zoppi stated that it was most unfair to expect the Italian Government to negotiate under the kind of pressure which the United States and the United Kingdom were exerting. Thompson recommended that no connection be made between postponing the elections and the Trieste negotiations. (750G.00/8–1751)
  3. Telegram 1060 stated that the Department of State position was one of postponing the Trieste elections “for limited period” together with a statement to the Italians that the purpose of this postponement was to permit bilateral negotiations to settle the Trieste question. (750G.00/8–2051)
  4. These views were presented to Ivor Porter of the British Embassy during a meeting on August 21. (Memorandum of conversation, 750G.00/8–2151)
  5. Not printed.
  6. Telegram 1031 from London, August 24, informed the Department of State that the British Foreign Office still considered postponement of the Trieste elections should be made contingent upon agreement to resume negotiations. (750G.00/8–2451)