No. 642
The Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews) to the Secretary of Defense (Lovett)1

top secret

My Dear Mr. Secretary: You will recall that at the last politico-military meeting with the British on the subject of planning in respect to Yugoslavia, which was held in the Department of State on April 16, 1952,2 certain agreements as to substance and procedure were reached with the British, subject to the concurrence of the British Government. The British have now formally conveyed that concurrence to us. There are attached, in this respect, copies of a memorandum relating to the call of Sir Christopher Steel, Minister of the British Embassy, upon Assistant Secretary of State Perkins [Page 1291]on April 30, 1952,3 as well as an informal summary of the conclusions reached at the politico-military meeting of April 16, 1952.4

Pursuant to the agreement with the British, which has now been confirmed, it is now incumbent upon the U.S. to address a formal proposal to the British and French Governments looking towards a tripartite approach to Tito. There is, in consequence, attached the text of a telegram5 which, with your concurrence, the Department would like to transmit to the American Embassies at London and Paris for action and to the other addressees indicated for their information.

I would like particularly to call your attention to those portions of the attached message which refer to the proposed function of Admiral Carney in the desired discussions with the Yugoslavs. The British have informally indicated that they see no reason why the alteration in the character of Admiral Carney’s position, which has now been reported in the press, should make it undesirable from our point of view for him or his representative to carry out the discussions with the Yugoslavs. Subject to any views which you may hold, the Department is inclined to agree with the British, believing that the question is of importance primarily to the Yugoslavs. Should Tito object to the designation of Admiral Carney to act on behalf of the US, UK and France, we should, of course, be prepared to give consideration to his wishes in the matter.

In view of the delays which have already attended this matter, and of its basic urgency, the Department would be appreciative if you would give it your early attention and treat it as a matter of priority.

Sincerely yours,

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. Drafted by Marcy and Barbour and cleared with RA, G, and EUR.
  2. See Document 639.
  3. Not printed; Steel communicated to Perkins the British Government’s agreement to and understanding of the procedures to be followed regarding the military planning with Yugoslavia.
  4. Reference is to Document 640.
  5. Not found attached to the source text, but the telegram was sent, after Department of Defense approval had been obtained, as telegram 5854 to London (telegram 6685 to Paris), May 12. (768.5/5–1252) The notes, texts of which were contained in these telegrams, were delivered to the British Foreign Office on May 14 and to the French Foreign Ministry on May 15.