033.1100/8–1552: Telegram

No. 647
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Department of State1


177. Secy Pace informed Tito during discussion at Brdo Aug 13 that purpose of his visit to Yugo was same as to other countries where we had mil aid programs.2 He wanted to have first-hand [Page 1300]look and establish personal contacts. He referred to growing mil strength of US and West world and said while much remained to be done he felt sufficient progress had already been made to cause any aggressor regret rash action.

Pace said experience of UN forces in Korea had proved value of relatively inexpensive anti-tank weapons such as bazookas, recoilless rifles and mines and that while these were not substitute for tanks, he believed Yugos wld be well advised to place more emphasis on anti-tank weapons to repel initial attack. Tito agreed but said he also needed tanks for counter-attack since passive def was insufficient to repel invaders. Moreover it was not in his nature to think only defensively if his state attacked.

Pace said he had been much impressed with Yugo troops he had seen perform briefly in Belgrade and felt Amer equip here wld be put to good use.

Tito expressed appreciation for Amer help and agreed with Pace’s remarks concerning necessity of maintenance spare parts and local manufacture of ammo. Tito pointed out manufacture of ammo for small number specific guns wld be uneconomic unless Yugo cld manufacture on large enough scale to export surplus.

During discussion of Cominform potential and intentions, Tito said he thought Bulg wld fight Yugo harder than other satellites because of Bulg’s territorial designs on Macedonia. He thought Hungary wld also fight well in hope of obtaining Vojvodina. He doubted Cominform troops wld launch offensive with great enthusiasm but thought Sov propaganda that Russia was being encircled had created some ground work for preventive war psychology among Russians.

Pace referred to tech difficulties of bringing new models of heavy weapons into production, particularly planes and tanks, and asked Tito’s opinion of Sov capabilities in this regard. Tito said it wld be great mistake to underestimate Russian tech equipment. Pace said we now had much better tank than Sov T–34, which he thought was latest Sov model. Tito said Russians had developed much better tank (T–44) and he believed they cld produce it in quantity.

In response to question re morale of Sov troops in occupied areas, Tito said Sov troops in East Ger were reasonably content at present merely because they were living better than they wld be in Russia.

Pace emphasized US was anxious help increase mil posture of free world in order maintain peace. He thought steadily increased collaboration and mil understanding among free world was necessary to achieve this end. Tito agreed readily and said he saw no obstacle to increased consultation between Yugo and US mil auths on strategic questions.

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Comment: Hour and a half discussion and subsequent dinner conv were marked by cordiality on both sides. DepMinDef Gosniak and chief staff Koca Popovich were present during discussion, along with DepFonMin Mates and myself. No direct ref was made by either side to Tito’s suggestion to Frank Nash (Embtel 62 July 153) that time had come for strategic talks, but I believe Tito construed Pace’s concluding remarks as expression of our concurrence in his suggestion. There was no ref to further implementation.

Pace and his party made favorable impression on Yugo and visit was beneficial to our interests and position here. Genl Max Taylor added greatly to favorable impression created.

Other specific subjects discussed being reported in separate tels.4

  1. Repeated for information to Athens, Ankara, London, and Paris.
  2. Secretary of the Army Frank Pace visited Belgrade Aug. 12–14 as part of an inspection trip to several European and North African countries. In telegram 148 to Belgrade, July 29, the Department of State reported that Pace, prior to the trips, had talked with Ambassador Popović, who had informed him that Tito would like to see him when he came to Yugoslavia. Assistant Secretary Perkins had also discussed with Pace possible topics of conversation with Tito and had suggested that he might emphasize to Tito the urgency of a Trieste settlement and dispel any impression Yugoslavia might have received from the expansion of the military aid program and recent visits of high-level U.S. military officials that the United States regarded Yugoslavia as so important from the military standpoint that it would not question Yugoslav policy on Trieste and with respect to Italy. (033.1100/7–2952)
  3. Document 645.
  4. In telegram 179 from Belgrade, Aug. 15, Pace’s brief discussion of the Trieste issue with Tito was described. (750G.00/8–1552) Telegram 180 from Belgrade, also Aug. 15, described their discussion of the question of Yugoslavia’s relations with Greece and with Turkey.