768.5/11–1852: Telegram

No. 659
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Department of State1

top secret

712. No distribution outside Dept. On opening day, Nov 16, tripartite mil talks proceeded very much according to plan. Gen Handy made opening statement that purpose of talks was to learn Yugo situation as fully as we cld in order that tripartite mil group in Wash cld undertake tripartite contingency planning, based on reports of present talks.

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[Page 1317]

Yesterday, Nov 17, subject of purpose of talks came up again and Gen Handy repeated his understanding of purpose several times. Dapcevic referred several times to fact that exchange of info must be mutual. Handy agreed and promised to give our appreciation as soon as ready. He urged that meanwhile talks shld proceed according to agreed agenda. It soon became evident that Dapcevic was stalling, under instructions. . . . Talks appeared to be bogging down and short recess was agreed upon.

Following resumption, Handy promised report from our side today, and talks proceeded somewhat better.

It seems clear that two considerations are bothering Yugos. First, and I believe most important is Yugo fear that talks are designed by us merely to get as much info as possible and give as little as possible. Second may be Yugo concern over what we will pass on to other powers. Second point shld be cleared up today, in view of Paris 71, Nov 17, 7 p.m.2 My Brit and French colleagues and I will doubtless see Kardelj later today.3

Prior to opening of talks, Brit Amb told Handy he thought group shld be kept small as possible, but he then asked Handy if he wld take all three senior Brit service attachés with him, at least to first meeting. Handy asked Brit Amb if he wld be embarrassed if all three were not included. Brit Amb said “yes, a little.” Handy agreed to take them all, and all three Brit, together with French attaché, have been present at each subsequent meeting. This seems likely to continue and is causing no particular trouble. Handy has been accompanied at each meeting by all officers he brought from Frankfort, but without either Harmony or Condon. However, Capt Vracarich of Harmony’s staff has been present at all meetings as interpreter.

  1. Repeated for information to Paris and London eyes only Chiefs of Mission and senior military attachés.
  2. Not printed. (768.5/11–1752)
  3. In telegram 713 from Belgrade, Nov. 18, Allen reported that he and the British and French Ambassadors had informed Kardelj that day that in order to be certain that there was no misunderstanding regarding the subject of information concerning the military talks to be passed on to other countries, their governments wished to assure the Yugoslav Government that no information of substance furnished by Yugoslavia during the course of the military talks would be divulged to anyone without Yugoslavia’s consent. Kardelj had expressed his government’s appreciation for this assurance. (768.5/11–1852)