396.1 LO/10–1653: Telegram

No. 300
The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Conference, at London 1
top secret

Tosec 14. 1. We believe UK proposal on Trieste (Secto 102) has merit and subject following comments we recommend acceptance.

2. On procedure, we believe alternative of taking soundings in London by Foreign Ministers this weekend definitely preferable but suggest this be reinforced by UK and US representatives confirming to Tito and Pella substance statement as made by Eden as spokesman in London.

3. On assumption that main point acceptance conference proposal is to give Tito face and contribute to restoration his confidence in West, it seems to us preferable to buy his four-power suggestion without addition France which Jugos might well regard as loading in Italian favor. Realize this requires delicate handling with Bidault but believe he should respond to frank explanation this view.

4. Plan fails to emphasize or even provide opportunity to lead Tito toward annexation Zone B which in our view remains highly desirable objective if not in fact key to Tito’s exit from his present exposed position. If soundings of Italians and Jugos result in agreement of both to attend conference on narrow basis suggested we believe we should in meantime seek to devise means to encourage Tito to annexation.

5. We must bear in mind that before agreeing to conference Pella will undoubtedly ask confirmation of our original assurance that he will not be required publicly to acknowledge de facto partition as final and we should be clear that such confirmation must be given him if he is to carry this off in Italy.

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6. On timing of conference, our reaction is that prospects of heading off Security Council debate would be improved if date is in near future, say within ten days or two weeks.

7. Finally, we believe important that passage in tripartite communiqué on Trieste follow and not go beyond three point quotation second paragraph Secto 10.3

  1. Drafted by Merchant and cleared with Barbour, Elbrick, Byington, and Murphy. Repeated to Rome, Belgrade, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. Supra.
  3. On Oct. 17 Eden on behalf of the three Foreign Ministers met individually with the Italian and Yugoslav Ambassadors and read to them the text of a statement substantially along the lines of the British proposal (Secto 10, supra), but incorporating in his oral comments to each of them the thrust of the desiderata in Tosec 14. The text of the statement was transmitted from London in Secto 26, Oct. 17. (396.1 LO/10–1753). Minutes of the meetings with the Ambassadors were transmitted in Secto 28 and 29 from London, Oct. 18. (Both 296.1 LO/10–1853).