750G.00/9–354: Telegram

No. 255
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1
top secret

1292. Limit distribution. Re Deptel 1245 last para.2 Department believes best method presentation any US–UK compromise proposal would be to send Deputy Under Secretary Murphy, ostensibly on tour of consultation and soundings in wake of EDC rejection, to Rome and Belgrade via London (and for cover to a few other European capitals). Trip to Belgrade could be explained on ground that no high Departmental official has been there, with appropriate reference ties between Balkan Pact and NATO. Since any reasonable compromise presumably acceptable to Italians, Belgrade aspect of trip would be most important and in this connection Murphy’s wartime contacts with Tito might be particularly helpful.

While Department inclined believe this mission might be accomplished most effectively if Murphy went representing both US and UK Governments, we do not suggest that you should stress this when broaching it to British. Murphy would of course be accompanied by Ambassador or Chargé when seeing Tito and Scelba and it would be simple matter for British to make parallel representations. Obviously impossible hide purpose Murphy’s visit if he were actually accompanied by British representative.

In suggesting compromise proposal Department has in mind something different from either July 29 [21]3 or Brosio proposal though we recognize difference cannot be great and anything we propose will be open to criticism as substantially same as some previous proposal. Subject your judgment Department also inclined believe main heads of other material issues should also be covered by compromise proposal in order if Murphy’s mission succeeds avoid later disagreement on non-territorial issues.

Unless you perceive objection, you are instructed use your best efforts to secure British agreement to this procedure making clear of course we contemplate putting it into effect only in event of definitive Italian rejection of present Yugoslav position. Speedy [Page 517] action likely be essential in event of Italian rejection to minimize possibilities public Italian break.

  1. Drafted by Hooker and cleared in draft with Thurston and in final form with Merchant, Barbour, and Murphy, and repeated for information to Rome, Belgrade, and USPolAd Trieste.
  2. Document 252.
  3. For a description of the proposal made to the Yugoslav Government on July 21, see Document 229.