No. 99

750G.00/7–2451: Telegram

Leonard Unger , United States Political Adviser to the Commander of the British-United States Zone of the Free Territory of Trieste ( Winterton ), to the Secretary of State 1


93. Recent Ital agitation over Trieste amply illustrates explosive qualities this issue on Ital domestic scene, here and in Yugo.2 I believe basic cause is passage of three years without concrete action on implementation March 20 proposal coupled with distrust over increasingly close relation US and UK with Yugos. October’s communal elections and Ital internal politics are contributing factors which probably also dictated timing of outburst. Recommend Dept now consider action which might reduce agitation in future and following observations submitted as possible aid in such consideration.

Even if pressure brought to bear on Yugos, using leverage of western assistance, understand they almost surely would not accept any interim solution like shifting of zone boundaries (see my immed preceding telegram)3 which might mollify Trieste or Ital public on zone B issue. On other hand believe de facto restoration zone A alone to Italy, even if represented as interim arrangement, would be itself unacceptable in Italy or to pro-Itals here who would regard it with good reason as leading inevitably to abandonment all zone B to Yugo. Therefore only possibility of resolving present tensions as well as long-run Trieste issue appears to be offered by a definitive agreement based on territory’s partition roughly on ethnic lines. Believe such agreement feasible on some such basis as following:

Cession to Italy practically all zone A and substantial coastal strip zone B.
Cession to Yugo remainder zone B (more than half of zone [garble]) and token cessions of zone A along zone A Yugo frontier in Slovene areas.

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Itals apparently not disposed undertake serious negots now even if Yugos should be, according to record of recent London talks of Gallarati-Scotti with Brit, including Morrison, which Dept has presumably seen.4 Therefore believe that a radical change in our current policy involving readiness to exert pressure for early definitive Ital-Yugo agreement, possibly even to extent of entering substance of question, is called for unless we are prepared to accept continued and probably increasingly hostile agitation here and in Italy coupled with hardening attitude toward Italy on part Yugos.

  1. Repeated to Rome, Belgrade, and London.
  2. In telegram 145 from Rome, July 10, Ambassador Dunn reported that Italian Prime Minister De Gasperi told him that efforts must be made to prevent the campaign in the Italian press concerning the Trieste question from getting completely out of hand. (750G.00/7–1051) At the same time the Yugoslav press reacted sharply to the Italian agitation and, as reported in telegram 74 from Belgrade, July 18, Tito strongly criticized Italian tactics in a speech in Belgrade on July 13 in which he warned that Yugoslavia would make no concessions of territory. (665.68/7–1851)
  3. Telegram 92 from Trieste, July 24, not printed. (750G.31/7–2451)
  4. Presumbably a reference to the talks mentioned in paragraph 2 of telegram 4766 from London, Document 92.