750G.00/9–554: Telegram

No. 258
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Riddleberger) to the Department of State 1

186. Limit distribution.

We are delighted with proposal to send Murphy to Belgrade and Rome. It seems to us that if Italians refuse present proposal point has been reached in negotiations where high-ranking American official should make what we hope will be final and successful effort on Trieste negotiations. Hope he can come prepared to talk on aid and wheat, as well as details of Trieste settlement. In addition to the desirability of having high- ranking American official come to Belgrade, I think Murphy is an excellent choice and his previous acquaintance with Tito will be helpful.
Deptel 1292 to London2 crossed our telegram 185 to Department.3 In our telegram 185 we had expressed our views, which are concurred in by British Ambassador here, re wisdom of returning once again to Yugoslavs on territory. If this absolutely necessary we repeat our firm conviction that it should be a balanced proposal. I reiterate this point because of sentence in Deptel 1292 stating that any reasonable compromise would presumably be acceptable to Italians. If by “reasonable compromise” is meant a balanced proposition, then there may be possibility of success in Belgrade.
If, however, intent is to find solution acceptable in first instance to Italians without regard to well-known Yugoslav positions and then attempt to obtain acquiescence in Belgrade, we have grave doubts this can be accomplished no matter how high the approach. This method was tried on May 7 and October 8, 1953.
It should not be forgotten that May 31 line is regarded by Yugoslavs not in any sense as a Yugoslav proposal but as an Anglo-American proposal which was accepted by them only under the greatest pressure. We believe the negotiating history fully confirms this opinion. We do not see how any territorial solution can ever be reached if we accept the Italian view that any line accepted by Yugoslavs is an ultimatum.
We assume however from paragraph 3 of Deptel 1292 that what Department has in mind will take account of foregoing. We [Page 520] also agree that main heads of other material issues should be covered by our proposal.
  1. Repeated for information to London, Rome, and Trieste.
  2. Document 255.
  3. Not printed. (750G.00/9–454)