768.5/11–2052: Telegram

No. 661
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Department of State1

top secret

726. No distribution outside Dept. Milit talks terminated this morning. There was agreement that any arrangements for subsequent talks wld be left for respective govts to determine.

While much useful info was obtained, Yugos were by no means as full and frank as Gen Handy wished, and at one point talks became rather warm, due chiefly to Yugo repeated accusations that we were demanding more operational and strategic info than we were willing to give. Nevertheless, talks accomplished their essential purpose since contact on planning level was established and ground was laid for continuation. Moreover, we have at least followed up Tito’s initiative in suggesting these talks.

. . . Handy made it entirely clear, finally in blunt but always friendly manner, that he was not in position to give any commitment in this regard. . . . Dapcevic expressed confidence that considerable further progress cld be made but that it depended upon certain policy decisions at govt level.

Throughout conversations, Dapcevic made frequent slighting remarks re Itals, sometimes of highly derogatory nature. After consultation with me, Handy took occasion yesterday to point out that purpose of talks was to discuss Yugo milit potential and not Italy. He pointed out that if he continued to remain silent on this point, record might imply that he acquiesced in Yugo remarks. He wished record to show that he objected to introduction of recriminations against Allied power. He said we wld make same point if, during any talks in Rome, Itals made similar remarks re Yugos.

Both Brit and Fr have expressed much admiration for Handy’s conduct throughout conf. Three Brit service attachés, Fr milit attaché, and all Handy’s group from Frankfurt were present at each mtg, but Handy was sole spokesman for our side during formal sessions and Dapcevic alone spoke for Yugos.

[Page 1321]

Handy’s straightforwardness, even temper, and pleasant but firm approach were precise qualities needed for this job. He and his group have enhanced US prestige greatly through their conduct of these difficult negots.2

  1. Repeated for information to Longon, Paris (for Reinhardt), Rome (for Unger), and Frankfurt (for Handy) eyes only for Chiefs of Mission and senior military attachés.
  2. Handy’s report on these talks is summarized in Document 673.