750G.00/9–354: Telegram

No. 256
The Acting Secretary of State to the President, at Denver1
top secret

For the President from Bedell Smith. I may decide to send Bob Murphy to Rome and Belgrade in a final effort to conclude Trieste negotiations, which seem nearly stalemated. I believe it might be most helpful if he were authorized to deliver personal oral messages from you to Scelba and Tito. He might wish to invoke your personal authority in warning of future less sympathetic US attitude toward their requests for economic and military aid if they refuse concessions we seek. Chances seem greater that he would have to deliver such warning to Tito than to Scelba. Conversely, he may wish hold forth prospect of more encouraging US attitude and with Yugoslavs may wish indicate prospect closer military association. In no case would he make a commitment for any amount of economic or military aid unless specifically authorized.

I will communicate with you further about certain specific authorizations we have in mind.

I am of course asking Secretary’s concurrence.2

  1. Drafted by Hooker and cleared with Merchant, Barbour, Murphy, and in draft with Jones and Thurston. A note on the source text indicates that the telegram was sent through White House facilities. Just prior to receiving this telegram, Eisenhower sent a letter by pouch to Smith, in which he wrote: “Still another subject in which I am tremendously interested is Trieste. We have been working on it a long time and my impression is that we have been letting Tito block us, perhaps needlessly. Over a period of many weeks, I have been told time and again that it looked as though we were just on the point of securing an agreement, after which there has been nothing but silence. I think that whatever we do must be done soon, if for no other reason than to provide some counterbalance for the EDC flop.” (PPS files, lot 65 D 101, “Trieste”)
  2. Eisenhower replied later in the day by telegram that he was anxious that everything be done to settle the Trieste situation and that he was in favor of Smith’s suggestion. The President said that he would of course approve the verbal messages to Tito and Scelba, providing they had Dulles’ concurrence. He further remarked: “I instinctively share your feeling the approach to Tito should take more the terms of a warning, while in Scelba’s case the proper term might be mild, even to the point of being encouraging.” (750G.00/9–454) Smith sought the concurrence of Secretary Dulles who was in Manila in Tedul 5, Sept. 3. (Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 350)