No. 835


Memorandum by the Secretary of State1

Memorandum for the President

Subject: Request of the Yugoslav Ambassador for an appointment

The Yugoslav Ambassador, Vladimir Popovic, has requested an appointment with you for the purpose of personally expressing the gratitude of the Yugoslav Government and people for the program of emergency food assistance to Yugoslavia. Now that Congressional action has been completed with regard to emergency relief assistance to Yugoslavia, it is believed that it would be helpful from the policy point of view if you could find time to accede to his request for a brief meeting. It is not anticipated that Congressional reaction would be adverse in view of the Ambassador’s purpose, of which the press would be informed following his call, in making this request for an appointment.2

[Page 1697]

It is believed that such a gesture would help to maintain the increased accessibility which Ambassador Allen has enjoyed in recent months to Marshal Tito. This access to the Marshal has been of great advantage to us in making our views fully known to the Yugoslav Government and in obtaining an adequate expression of Yugoslav views. A gesture of this sort should also have a beneficial effect on public morale in Yugoslavia and should help along the trend toward closer collaboration with the United States and with the United Nations which the Yugoslav Government has already shown; and to this end it would also be helpful if the press were informed by the White House of the purpose of the Ambassador’s call, upon his departure.

It is recommended that you see the Yugoslav Ambassador in the near future if it is at all possible to fit the meeting into your schedule. If you agree, it is suggested that the time set for the appointment be communicated by the White House to the Department for notification to the Yugoslav Embassy.3

Dean Acheson
  1. Drafted by Gannett.
  2. At the end of December 1950, Yugoslav Ambassador Popović requested the Department of State to arrange an appointment for him to call upon President Truman for the purpose of personally expressing the gratitude of the Yugoslav Government and people for the program of emergency food assistance to Yugoslavia. A request for such an appointment was set forth in a memorandum of December 29, 1950, from the Secretary of State to the President, but the White House staff replied negatively. The matter was subsequently taken up by Secretary Acheson during his meeting with the President on January 15. According to a memorandum of conversation by Special Assistant Battle, the President told the Secretary that the White House staff had refused the original request for an appointment for Popović because it was thought that such a meeting would have an adverse effect upon an appropriation request for Yugoslavia then pending in Congress. The President indicated to the Secretary that he was prepared to receive Popović, but he asked the Secretary to examine the possible reaction in Congress to such a meeting. (601.6811/1–1551)
  3. The memorandum printed here was taken up by Secretary Acheson at his meeting with the President on January 22. According to the Secretary’s brief memorandum of conversation, the President agreed with the proposal and promised to make an appointment with Popović as soon as possible. (Secretary’s Memoranda, lot 53D444) For the record of the President’s conversation with Popović on January 26, see the memorandum by Neuberger, Document 846.