No. 105
Editorial Note

The broadcast of Tito’s speech at Okroglica on September 6 was monitored by the Embassy in Belgrade. On the basis of this monitoring, the Embassy reported in telegram 307, September 6, that the tone of Tito’s speech had been generally moderate, although there were the anticipated caustic comments on Italian leaders, such as the remark that on the basis of a news report, “Pella got on his horse and slashed the air with a wooden sword.” The Embassy also summarized the principal points of the speech as follows: (1) Yugoslavia had no need to annex Zone B because it was already there; (2) nobody had become alarmed at the news of Italian troop movements and Yugoslavia had taken no countermeasures. However, the Embassy quoted Tito as saying, “Pella is wrong if he believes that he is going to achieve something in this way … possibly grab Zone A … we can frankly say before the whole world ‘no’, we will not allow the occupation of Zone A”; (3) the Yugoslav Government had to settle accounts with the Italian Government, which was using the Trieste question to divert attention [Page 264] from internal problems, and not with the Italian people, who were more concerned with unemployment and social inequality than with Trieste; (4) Yugoslavia did not recognize the Tripartite Declaration and had no intention of talking to the Italian Government on the basis of this declaration; (5) the Peace Treaty needed to undergo substantial changes so that injustices which had been inflicted on Yugoslav interests by the Allied Military Government could be remedied, after which time “one could start talks”; and (6) Yugoslavia rejected both the proposals for partition along ethnic lines or along present zonal lines and the proposal for a condominium. Tito was quoted in this regard as saying, “The whole matter has been brought into such a blind alley that the only way for a solution would be that Trieste would be an international city and that the hinterland, the purely Slovene hinterland, be joined to Yugoslavia.” (750G.00/9–653)

The reaction of the Italian press to the speech was highly critical. An initial statement, considered semiofficial by the Embassy, which had been read over the radio the evening of September 6 and which had been published the next morning in the pro-government Il Messaggiero, was quoted in telegram 794 from Rome, September 7. (750G.00/9–753) Additional comments by Il Messaggiero, which the Embassy believed had emanated from the Italian Foreign Office, were quoted in telegram 805, September 8. (750G.00/9–853) Other Italian press comment was summarized in telegram 810, September 8. (750G.00/9–853)