750G.00/10–454: Telegram

No. 292
The United States Political Adviser in Trieste (Sims) to the Department of State1
top secret

115. Evacuation VG police (London’s 1688 to Department October 22) was first planned by British one year ago since they control administrative police force. I have always assumed London fully informed delicate nature this operation but apparently not. Seems necessary now I point out forcefully:

These police are as yet unaware they will be given opportunity leave Trieste. We not certain how many of fifty will accept offer, therefore planning must be made accommodate entire group. Last minute notification to fifty police required to maintain best morale possible police force and forestall other requests for asylum. This will be especially important if we have disturbances in Trieste (since we will depend greatly on VG force as our own troops will move on).
Should be emphasized that this operation of sudden (our 843) uprooting homes, severing family ties involving move distant strange land loaded with fervent Latin emotionalism. Hence, separation families during sea lift strictly undesirable (London’s reference telegram).
Does Brosio’s assurance reference Italian blacklist (London’s reference telegram) mean Italians already informed we planning this move? To coordinate this operation with Italians either here or Rome would, I fear, present danger Italian leak to local police with possible consequent break down morale of force.

I urge and General Dabney agrees wholeheartedly that plan outlined Rome telegram 1311 to Department October 34 be implemented lift these people Trieste–Malta. Department should immediately obtain assurances from British Government London for entry of group at Malta.

[Page 570]

Present plans call for advising fifty police on D plus 16 which will be October 21. Suggest Navy vessel arrive D plus 18 which will be October 23 at about 12 noon and sail at 5 p.m. same day. These plans subject to change which will be promptly reported.

British police officer will accompany group.

  1. Also sent to London and repeated for information to Rome.
  2. In telegram 1688, Thompson said that the British Chiefs had decided that the British Navy should not undertake the full task of evacuating the VG police, because of heavy demands for Suez Canal Zone evacuation and because it was impossible for the proper craft to arrive on the scene on short notice. The British Navy was prepared to evacuate the men, and if the U.S. Navy could evacuate the wives and children to a place like Malta where they could rejoin their husbands, Winterton’s objections to separating the families would be overcome. (750G.00/10–254)
  3. This is an erroneous reference. Telegram 84 from Trieste does not deal with the subject indicated here.
  4. In telegram 1311, Luce wrote that it was her understanding that the U.S. Navy might have craft available for the evacuation of VG police and families to Malta. She also said that she preferred this procedure to the British plan of overland evacuation. (750G.00/10–354)