750G.00/9–1354: Telegram

No. 269
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Riddleberger) to the Department of State 1
top secret

202. Limit distribution. Embtel 197 to Department.2

[Page 534]
Acting Foreign Secretary has just given me official Yugoslav reply welcoming Murphy visit to Yugoslavia. Micunovic said that Yugoslav Government will be happy discuss wheat and economic aid and “general political questions.” In carefully guarded terms Micunovic indicated they hoped Tito would not be expected discuss details Trieste settlement, and from that point of view Yugoslav Government thought proposed agenda was not too well established. I countered by saying high Yugoslav officials had never hesitated discuss Trieste with me when they so desired and I thought it was not abnormal if Murphy should discuss subject when here. Micunovic agreed but said Yugoslav Government did not want to change location of negotiations.
Tito will receive Murphy at Brioni during this week at time to be mutually agreed upon after Murphy’s arrival in Belgrade.
We arranged that, upon arrival, Murphy will visit Bebler as Foreign Secretary is not expected back until end of week. He will then see Vukmanovic-Tempo on wheat and aid problems.
We agreed in view of various press reports (Embtel 1993) that Yugoslav Government will issue a communiqué for publication in morning papers September 14 as follows: “Murphy will visit Belgrade this week and this occasion will be used to discuss with Yugoslav Government various economic problems as well as to have an exchange of opinions on questions now of interest to the US and Yugoslavia.”
  1. Repeated for information to London for Thompson, to Bonn for Murphy, and to Rome and Trieste.
  2. In telegram 197, Sept. 12, Riddleberger reported to the Department of State the summary which British Ambassador Mallet had given him of Mallet’s conversation with Tito at Brioni the previous day. Mallet followed roughly the same line with Tito as Eden had with Velebit in London. At first Tito had said that Yugoslavia could make no more territorial concessions, but he later said that if it were only a question of a village (presumably Lazzaretto) perhaps something might be done provided territorial compensation were offered. Tito said further that, if the United Kingdom and the United States continued to press Yugoslavia for more territorial concessions, it could only be harmful to their relations with Yugoslavia. When Mallet pointed out that if a territorial compromise were not reached the negotiations might break down, Tito replied that the United Kingdom and the United States should be patient and eventually Italy would accept. Although Mallet and Tito did not discuss the Murphy visit, a Yugoslav official later told Mallet that, while Yugoslavia welcomed Murphy’s visit, it was unhappy that he planned to discuss Trieste since it was felt that the negotiations should remain centered in London. (750G.00/9–1254) In telegram 1282 from London, Sept. 13, Thompson said that both Harrison and Kirkpatrick were not hopeful that Tito would yield easily, especially in view of Mallet’s conversation with him. Kirkpatrick recommended that Murphy avoid threats which would offend “chauvinistic sensibilities” on the one hand, and equally avoid offending Tito’s pride by an obvious effort to buy him off by economic means. (750G.00/9–1354) In telegram 263 to Belgrade, Sept. 13, the Department of State said that, while it did not wish to be oversanguine, Tito’s reference to the territorial question in his conversation with Mallet appeared to have overtones of flexibility. (750G.00/9–1354)
  3. In telegram 199, Sept. 13, Riddleberger reported on a Tanjug despatch from Rome the previous day which had linked Eden’s upcoming visit to Rome and Murphy’s trip with the Trieste question. (750G.00/9–1354)