750G.00/10–653: Telegram

No. 123
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy1
top secret

1182. Eyes only Ambassador. US-UK Governments have agreed upon presentation of their plan for Trieste along following lines which should be made orally and jointly to Pella with your British colleague on same day that Belgrade makes approach to Tito.2

US and UK have for many years jointly and separately endeavored to promote a negotiated Trieste settlement acceptable to [Page 293] both Italy and Yugoslavia. The most recent proposals of Italy and Yugoslavia have met respectively with rejection by the other side, and a mutually agreed solution still appears impossible. This situation has become intolerable and we are not prepared to permit it any longer to poison our relations with Italy and Yugoslavia and jeopardize policies of fundamental importance to the four governments and indeed to all Western Europe.
In these circumstances the two Governments have decided to hand over the administration of Zone A to the Italian Government. They hope by this action to bring about a situation which will relax the present tension between Italy and Yugoslavia and make possible friendly cooperation between them in a wide field. We would expect that the Italian Government in assuming this responsibility would give public assurances re minorities and civil rights in Zone A along the lines of Art. 4 of permanent FTT statute. Simultaneously with our approach to Prime Minister Pella we are informing President Tito of our decision and a joint US-UK statement will be issued at (time to be given Embassies later) a copy of which you should hand him for his advance information.3
You should add that in taking this step both Governments are aware that it constitutes a de facto settlement and it is their intention that this de facto settlement will actually become final. Neither the Yugoslav nor the Italian Government, however, will be requested by the US and UK to adhere formally to this interpretation. Should either the Italian or Yugoslav Government later wish to initiate bilateral negotiations with a view to the modification of boundaries the US and UK Governments would not intervene in behalf of either party and the Yugoslav Government is being advised accordingly.
  1. Drafted by Nes and William E. Knight and cleared with Barbour, Byington, and Bonbright; repeated for information to London, Paris, and Moscow eyes only for the Ambassadors; and to Belgrade eyes only for the Chargé; and Trieste eyes only for the Political Adviser.
  2. The instructions to Belgrade concerning the approach to be made to Tito were contained in telegram 381, Oct. 6, infra.
  3. The text of the statement was transmitted in telegram 1185 to Rome, Oct. 6. (750G.00/10–653) For text of the joint statement, released on Oct. 8, see Document 130.