No. 844

768.5/1–2951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Yugoslavia 1

top secret

739. 1. Dept approves gen tenor your remarks in conversations Kardelj reported in urtels 952 Jan 23 rptd Paris 134 London 552 and 956 Jan 24 rptd Paris 135 London 56.3

2. If subj mil aid is raised by Kardelj or other high Yugo official, suggest you fol points designed to ensure Yugo Govt understands necessity for US and other Western Govts know in advance amt, character and timing of Yugo mil needs in case of Sov or satellite attack:

Major preoccupation US Govt is fulfilment its share responsibilities for building up strength of free world to preserve peace and resist aggression under principles UN Charter. Dept has noted declarations Yugo intentions to support UN efforts and to look to UN for aid if attacked. It has accordingly considered that in event of mil attack directed against and resisted by Yugo US shld be prepared, together with other govts supporting UN action, provide to Yugo such mil supplies as can be made available in light of then existing priorities, availabilities and other relevant factors.
Unless Yugo’s specific needs can be intelligently anticipated far enough in advance for consideration in current production programs, possibilities of meeting such needs promptly and effectively will be seriously reduced. Technical characteristics of Yugo armament, moreover, will present many special problems in production and supply action. Shld Yugo arms requirements become known only after attack is in progress, costly and possibly disastrous delay might occur before useful assistance could be supplied.
If Yugo Govt desires US and other Western Govts make in advance such preparations as they can to provide effective arms assistance in case of Yugo resistance to aggression, it presumably will recognize high desirability of ensuring that as much pertinent info as possible be made available to them at earliest practicable date, either through Western service attachés now accredited to Yugo Govt, staff talks or by any other feasible means. It should be emphasized that mere tabulations or lists of needs alone will not suffice but must be discussed and studied on basis present equipment stocks, timing of production and deliveries, and other pertinent factors.
Since Yugo needs must be reconciled with requirements for defense of NATO area, US Govt wld want to consult with UK and Fr re amt, form and priority of Yugo defense needs.
Shld Yugo Govt not find it practicable to provide such info it will be very difficult to plan production in such manner as to make it reasonable to expect that effective assistance could be contributed on short notice in case of attack.

3. Dept wld appreciate opinion Embs Belgrade, London, Paris whether Brit Fr Govts and their Ambs Belgrade shld be apprised of nature this instr now or some later stage.4

  1. Drafted by Huston and cleared with Matthews, Bonbright, EUR, S/ISA, and Defense. Repeated for action on paragraph 3 to Paris and London.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 2, Document 836.
  3. Ibid.
  4. In telegram 1004 from Belgrade, January 31, Ambassador Allen saw no objection to informing the British and French, but considered it important for security reasons to keep the number of cables on this subject to a minimum. (768.5/1–3051) The Embassy in London strongly recommended, in telegram 4180, January 30, that the British and French Governments and their ambassadors in Yugoslavia be informed of these instructions. (768.5–MAP/1–3051) Instructions to this effect were sent to London in telegram 3618, February 1, and repeated to Paris and Belgrade. (768.5–MAP/1–3151)