No. 854

768.56/2–551: Telegram

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

top secret

1027. I have informed my British colleague2 of US position re arms to Yugoslavia as contained in Deptel 739, January 29.3

Neither Tito nor Kardelj have approached me on subject of arms since my last talk with Kardelj (Embtel 956, January 244) and I presume they still contemplate making major approach Paris, London and Washington. Djilas seems be carrying ball at present.

However, Admiral Manola, Chief of Yugoslav Navy and reportedly director Yugoslav military intelligence, sought me out two nights ago to urge my support for what he referred to as “very modest Yugoslav request for military supplies”. I said I did not know what Yugoslav Government wanted. He said “we will let you know”.

It is evident that negotiations or feelers are going on in several places and Yugoslavs are trying indirectly to find out what they can obtain. I believe basic decision has been made to seek substantial military aid but that initial effort will be to get it through commercial credits. If this proves futile, Yugoslavs will doubtless make more direct approach.

Although time is passing, I still believe it preferable let Yugoslavs come to us. Initiative on our part would obligate us to furnish more supplies and more rapidly than we can probably fulfill.

  1. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. British Ambassador Peake.
  3. Document 844.
  4. Document 836.