750G.00/9–2454: Telegram

No. 284
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Department of State1
top secret

1512. Limit distribution. Pass Defense for Hensel and Lemnitzer. From Murphy and Thompson. We called on Brosio and Theodoli this morning. I recounted briefly the efforts made to achieve agreement Belgrade and Rome on the territorial question again emphasizing the interest of President Eisenhower in a prompt settlement. Brosio said he thoroughly agreed. He then referred to the decision taken by his government indicating their choice of a territorial alternative as described in Thompson’s telegram 1511 of September 24.2 He said that he had also been instructed to make a gesture of saying to Velebit that it would be in the interests of future harmonious relations if some small deviation of the line could be made giving the Italians a portion of the rockpile area. I protested to Brosio as vehemently as possible that we had spent days going over this question in Belgrade and we felt after our conversations in Rome that responsible members of his government had informed us definitely that they would accept one or the other of the alternatives which emanated from Bebler’s conversation. To reopen this question now would only cause delay and I am convinced result in no profit for either party. Brosio said that he personally agreed with this point of view and I gathered he would communicate with Foreign Office and try to dissuade them from unnecessarily complicating this issue without any visible chance of success.

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I just telephoned Wallner in Belgrade urging he see Bebler informing him that we are confident of Italian acceptance of a choice on the territorial issue and also that we are reasonably sure that Yugos will get satisfaction on the lire payment for cultural house. Wallner would then urge Bebler to instruct Velebit to move rapidly on the remaining tag ends so that there will be no undue delay reminding him of Marshal Tito’s statement that he desired a prompt settlement which was also voiced by Bebler himself.3 Thompson and I will see Velebit this noon making a similar effort with him.

  1. Repeated for information to Belgrade, Rome, and Trieste.
  2. In telegram 1511, Thompson described a meeting he and Harrison had with Brosio on Sept. 23 at which Brosio expressed Italian Government willingness to accept the alternative which would give them Lazzaretto and by which Italy would give up the rockpile. However, in order to assist the Italian Government in presenting the settlement to the Italian people, it wished to know if Yugoslavia could allow Italy to keep at least a portion of the rockpile. (750G.00/9–2454)
  3. A report regarding Wallner’s meeting with Bebler on Sept. 24 was contained in telegram 244 from Belgrade, infra.