No. 845

768.00/1–2951: Telegram

The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Secretary of State 1


990. Judging from my recent talks with Tito, Kardelj and other Yugoslav officials, Yugoslav high command appears to have convinced itself that next Cominform attack is more likely to be against West Germany than against Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia officials believe Kremlin would make German operations appear as unification measure instituted by Germans themselves, thereby avoiding clear-cut case of aggression against independent country. Yugoslavs think operations in Germany could begin at any moment but time probably would depend on developments in Far East.

Eisenhower’s visit to Europe2 is welcomed as stiffening Europe’s will to resist, but Yugoslavs believe public discussion of rearmament in advance of concrete results increases danger of hostilities in Europe during 1951.

Insistence by Kardelj and Tito to me that aggression means attack against “independent country”, and Tito’s belief that four-power political settlement of German question should precede German rearmament causes me to suspect that Yugoslavs are building up position to justify their neutrality if Germany becomes [Page 1712] “second Korea” and fighting is limited to Germany. If it spreads, I believe Yugoslavs are prepared to join, whether Yugoslavia itself is attacked or not.

During talk I had with Kardelj, Mates and Prica two days ago, Mates commented that Yugoslavs were pleased that US had reacted so promptly, effectively and persistently in Korea, even though Yugoslav representative in UN had not always voted for our measures and might not in future for purely Yugoslav reasons. Prica expressed confidence that situation in Far East would be decided by military situation and that UN military success would determine UN political achievements. Foregoing is of course directly contrary to Tito’s repeated suggestion during past two months that UN forces should withdraw from Korea. Yugoslav views on Korea tend to vary somewhat with military situation. I could not avoid reminding Kardelj (Embtel 628, December 5, 19503) that I had pointed out previously that Americans were not accustomed to withdraw, once we had undertaken an operation, even though going might be tough. Kardelj said “your steadfastness is greatest reason for our confidence.”

  1. Repeated to Paris, London, and Moscow.
  2. For documentation on Eisenhower’s trip, see vol. iii, Part 1, pp. 392 ff.
  3. Not printed.