768.5/12–352: Telegram

No. 313
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1

top secret

3207. No distribution outside of Department. Noforn. This is State msg, passed Defense for comment, but transmitted field without awaiting Defense concurrence view rapid developments re Yugo in politico-mil field and Depts desire addressees be aware Depts tentative thinking prior achievement formal US Govtal position.

Now that Handy talks terminated, next formal step on tripartite (US, UK, Fr) level must await consideration and evaluation formal Handy report,2 which understood be now in preparation but which probably will not be available to Govts for week or ten days. In meantime, Fr apparently hope discuss gen question integration mil planning re Yugo into NATO mil framework (which an agreed ultimate objective tripartite powers) at tripartite mtg Paris on occasion NAC mtg.3 Such integration is, of course, at present nub of entire politico-mil picture re Yugo. However, time factor availability Handy report and apparent imminence of developments in mil conversations between Yugo-Gr and Yugo-Turk respectively complicate picture at moment, and it seems unlikely that any fruitful conversations can be held in Paris at time of NAC.

US view already made known to interested parties favors maximum development Yugo-Grk-Turk cooperation, qualified as that cooperation must be by consideration responsibilities Gr and Turk to NATO. It was such considerations on part US, UK and Fr which accounted in large measure for limitations on Handy’s terms of ref, which in turn seem to have to some degree disappointed Yugos, but which may in last analysis act as spur to progress between Yugo and Gr and Turk. Provided, as seems to be the case, Gr and Turk bear these limitations in mind we feel US shld encourage rapid and concrete progress in mil planning in Gr-Yugo and Turk-Yugo [Page 599] mil talks (i.e., brass tacks: Athenstel 1775 to Dept4), which can only serve to complement progress made and desired to be made in US, UK, Fr-Yugo mil relations. We sense, however, that Gr, Turk and Yugo are all cognizant our position this matter and, pursuant their own interests, will push forward as rapidly as feasible. This connection, and in re inclusion Turks at any given stage of Grk-Yugo talks, we feel it wld only further complicate issue and might deter Yugos for US to bring pressure. We wld prefer therefore let Grks and Yugos find their own pace.

Re concrete proposal for Grk-Yugo formula contained last para Athenstel 1775 to Dept, Dept feels there might well be positive value in inclusion explicit reservation that understandings reached on bilateral level wld be subject to subsequent coord with arrangements between Yugo on one hand and US, UK, and Fr on other, provided it also clearly understood all planning on a purely contingent basis and hence subject to affirmative govtal decision at the time action required. Realistically Yugos as well as Grks and Turks must already appreciate that for such bilateral understandings to have substance they must be subject to such coordination with tripartite if not with NATO planning. However, the more Yugo is made to realize that her own interests are inextricably related to common defense efforts of West, and that she will not be permitted play off one power or group of powers against the rest, the better and the more likely we are to achieve our purposes.

Until it becomes possible to foresee manner and means by which mil planning re Yugo may be integrated into NATO mil framework, it will be impossible fully resolve over-lapping aspects of US, UK, Fr-Yugo, Yugo-Grk, and Yugo-Turk mil cooperation and planning, nor can total impact this planning on polit relations between Yugo and West (Yugo-Ital as prominent example) be calculated. Dept does not anticipate however that this temporary disability shld prove insurmountable impediment to progress. This connection and specifically in re first para Athenstel 1775 to Dept and point four of Paristel 3230 to Dept,5 it obviously desirable maintain fullest possible flow of info to US, UK and Fr re progress Yugo-Grk and Yugo-Turk understanding. While it must be obvious to all concerned that specific Yugo confidences must be observed and that return flow of info from US, UK and Fr to Grk and Turk must also be conditioned thereby, Dept believes groundwork for Yugo understanding [Page 600] this aspect has been well laid (with obvious exception of Ital, concerning which we will have to feel our way for some time), and Dept wld hope that course of Grk-Yugo discussions will further bolster Yugo recognition that fullest possible exchange info will benefit all parties. Proposed formula for Grk-Yugo reservation discussed preceding para might well also serve that purpose. Meantime and in absence other arrangements such as can be created only following tripartite discussion Handy report and decision how best to move towards integration these problems into NATO mil framework, tripartite cmte establ Wash last summer to prepare terms of ref and agenda for Handy talks, supplemented as necessary and desirable by dipl channels, appears least clumsy method exchanging info as between US, UK and Fr. This connection Dept assumes it is this cmte which is meant by “mil agency” referred to in Paristel 3230 and Athenstel 1775, both to Dept, since we have been at considerable pains at this stage to maintain distinction between that grp and Standing Group: see apparent loose Brit usage reflected last sentence Londontel 2869 to Dept.6

In view foregoing, while we favor maximum possible progress in contingent mil planning between Grks and/or Turks and Yugos, we consider that there shld be no commitment of forces at this time. Such commitment must of course be subject govtal decision at time emergency arises in light all circumstances and in consultation NATO allies as appropriate.

Paris pass Reinhardt; Rome pass Unger, for Carney; Belgrade pass Harmony; Ankara pass Rivinus for Wyman.

  1. Drafted by Marcy, signed for Acheson by Nolting, and cleared in RA,WE, NEA/GTI, EUR and G. Also sent to Rome, London, Belgrade, Ankara, Athens, Frankfurt, and Trieste eyes only Chiefs of Mission, specific addressees, and Senior Military Attachés.
  2. Not found in Department of State files; for a summary of this report, see Document 664.
  3. For documentation concerning the North Atlantic Council Ministerial meetings, Dec. 14–18, see vol. v, Part 1, pp. 454 ff.
  4. Telegram 1775, Dec. 3, reported that both the Turks and Greeks appeared anxious to undertake serious negotiations with the Yugoslavs during the forthcoming visits of the Greek and Turkish Delegations to Belgrade. (768.5/12–352)
  5. In telegram 3230, Dec. 2, Dunn recommended that the Greeks and Turks make no commitment to the Yugoslavs without prior consultation with the United States, United Kingdom, and France. (768.5/12–253)
  6. Telegram 2869, Nov. 20, referred to the “British representative on standing group”, without specifying what was meant by “standing group.” (768.5/11–2052)