750G.00/9–654: Telegram

No. 260
The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Butterworth) to the Department of State1
top secret

1177. Limit distribution. Pass Defense for Hensel and Lemnitzer. From Thompson. Believe Murphy trip would be most useful if it could be made in next few days. Harrison will discuss it with Kirkpatrick tomorrow but following are tentative British views. They would, of course, make no objection to trip. They plan have Eden call in Velebit possibly Wednesday or Thursday2 and ask him to carry oral message to Tito. As reported British are unwilling to put specific US, UK counter-proposal to both sides and think we should remain in the role of brokers even if negotiations break down. They think we should tell Yugoslavs we believe that Italians will not accept present proposal and ask them to consider very carefully whether they could not concede at least the small wedge formed by line running close to line 50 in return for rockpile. British think Velebit would carry considerable weight in direct appeal to Tito. Taviani will deliver written message from Scelba to Churchill on Wednesday but British assume we have had our answer from the Italians and that we cannot refuse to make one more high-level appeal.

  1. Repeated for information to Rome, Belgrade, and Trieste.
  2. Sept. 8 or 9.