750G.00/9–1554: Telegram

No. 271
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Riddleberger) to the Department of State1
top secret

209. Limit distribution. From Murphy. Contrary to what Ambassador Mates told us in Washington to effect that Tito would be in Belgrade this week,2 he is in Brioni. Appointment is being arranged and I shall see him there.

After consultation with Riddleberger and Killen I shall have talks today with Bebler (Popovic is absent) Kardelj and Vukmanovic Tempo in hope of creating favorable atmosphere for Tito conversations.

As an element in Trieste negotiations which may be helpful, I find wheat shortage is more drastic than Washington estimate given me before departure. Shortage I am told will be closer to 1,000,000 tons than 700,000. Killen cooperating and we hope make maximum use of authority given me under this heading. Reason given for unusual shortage in this area of customary pre-war surplus is unfavorable weather conditions together with larger than usual hold back by many peasants dissatisfied with Communist regime.3

  1. Repeated for information to London, Rome, and Trieste.
  2. The substance of the conversation between Murphy and Mates on Sept. 10 is contained in Document 267.
  3. In telegram 268 to Belgrade, Sept. 15, Smith informed Murphy that he had talked with Stassen at the meeting of the Operations Coordinating Board that day, and Stassen had said that the necessary wheat would be forthcoming if a settlement could be obtained. Smith also stated that Murphy and Killen could make maximum use of the authority given under this heading. (750G.00/9–1554)