750G.00/9–1754: Telegram

No. 275
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Department of State 1
top secret

1384. Limit distribution. Pass Defense for Hensel and Lemnitzer. From Thompson. Velebit today said he was authorized propose a rectification of western end of the line to run from just south of Lazzaretto to a point on the May 31 line about midway between Punta Sottile and Montesan Michele in return for Bassovizza and the quarry rectification. We pointed out that disparity in both size and population of the two areas was so great we felt this would be of no assistance in securing agreement. After discussion various other possibilities Harrison asked whether Velebit thought his government would consider unilateral concession of a line running parallel to and about 100 meters south of line 51 to the May 31 line. Velebit undertook to ascertain his government’s position but said he knew his government was concerned that whatever concession they now made however small or large would be met by further Italian demands. Harrison suggested that if we knew it would be acceptable to Yugoslavs we might put it to both parties. I said I would have to ascertain views of my government. It was agreed we [Page 543] would not put the Bassovizza proposal to Italians until we had Yugoslav reaction to Harrison’s inquiry.

I also pointed out that Murphy had expected discuss this problem with Tito and would be holding discussion in Rome on Monday.2 After the meeting Harrison suggested that if Murphy got nothing better from Tito than the Bassovizza proposal he merely tell Italians that he had made strong representations, that the Yugoslavs appeared to be very firm but would give their answer in London. Velebit expects to have reply Monday or Tuesday. If Yugoslavs reply favorable suggest we should also sound out Italians before putting firm proposition to both parties.

We also discussed with Velebit our proposed report to UN which he seemed to consider satisfactory.

  1. Repeated for information to Trieste, Belgrade, and Rome.
  2. Sept. 20.