In the hope that the meetings in London could be kept small and informal, the United States selected four people, in addition to Ambassador Thompson, to comprise the United States Delegation. They were Major General Clyde D. Eddleman, Philip Mosely, Raymund Yingling, and Leonard Unger, who were to attend meetings only as required. The five members of the United States Delegation left the United States on January 29 and traveled separately to London, arriving the following day. A copy of the terms of reference and instructions for Major General Eddleman, signed by Vice Admiral A.C. Davis and dated January 26, is in file 750G.00/1–2654. The British Government selected G. W. Harrison, Assistant Under Secretary of State, to head its delegation. Harrison was assisted by Nicholas J.A. Cheetham and John O. Wright of the Foreign Office. The Yugoslav Delegation was headed by Vladimir Velebit, Ambassador in the United Kingdom, and assisted by Bogdan Orescanin, Military Attaché in the United Kingdom; Janvid Flere, Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom and an economist; and Vlado Seston, a secretary.
Following its arrival in London, the United States Delegation met with the United Kingdom Delegation on January 31 and February 1 to discuss tactics and objectives for the talks. Memoranda of their conversations on January 31 and February 1 were sent to the Department of State as attachments to despatches 2615 and 2630 from London, February 1 and 2, respectively. (750G.00/2–154 and 750G.00/2–254)
The talks opened on the afternoon of February 2 with a meeting of the full delegations of the three countries. The meeting was devoted largely to a discussion of procedure, as the representatives [Page 373] agreed to meet daily and keep the meetings informal without agreed minutes. The respective heads of the three delegations—Harrison, Thompson, and Velebit—also made general introductory statements. This meeting was briefly described in telegram 3294 from London, February 2. (750G.00/2–254) Subsequent meetings of the full delegations were held on February 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9. Informal but detailed notes by Leonard Unger on the February 2, 3, and 4 meetings were sent to Holmes as enclosures to a letter from Thompson, February 9. (750G.00/2–954) Unger’s notes on the meetings held on February 5, 8, and 9 were sent as enclosures to his letter of February 15 to Hooker. (750G.00/2–1554)
In an interview in November 1971, Thompson recalled that all three countries had “high-powered delegations” and that the Yugoslav negotiators opened with long statements of their claims, which were polemical and quite clearly for the record. The chief Yugoslav negotiator, Velebit, said in an interview in January 1972 that “we had to fire off the so-called baroud d’honneur.” Admitting that this was rather repulsive for him to do, Velebit said that he had instructions from his government to demand the whole Free Territory of Trieste. The whole first week, he recalled, was spent in the Yugoslav negotiators trying to present their full case, and Velebit was certain that Thompson and Harrison understood that it was “a method of letting off steam.” (Campbell, Successful Negotiation, pages 26, 94–95)