137. Telegram From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Department of State0

471. Joint Embassy/USOM/Agriculture message.

We believe we should try get more mileage publicity out of our aid to Yugoslavia. With special assistance for FY 1959 now settled, progress having been made on Development Loan Fund loan to Yugoslavia, [Page 366] and PL 480 negotiations now under way, we feel we have opportunity engage in publicity to our advantage.
We accordingly believe would be desirable Washington issue press release along lines suggested Embtel 4721 which would announce special assistance program for Yugoslavia for FY 1959, indicate DLF loan for Pancevo agreed in principle, and note PL 480 negotiations are under way. If such press release is to be issued, we suggest that prior to its issuance Department could provide background briefing press pointing out relationship our assistance to recent Russian actions, namely suspension Soviet credits, including credit to Pancevo, and refusal thus far of Russians sell coking coal to Yugoslavs. We would contemplate that after DLF loan is finally settled and PL 480 negotiations completed, further press releases announcing each of these developments would be issued.
Prior to issuance press release, we would propose show it to Yugoslavs as matter of courtesy and for any reaction they may have. We expect that at minimum Yugoslavs will not like such releases and at maximum will positively object to it. It may be that after we have gotten their reaction, we may wish reconsider and not issue such release.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 768.5–MSP/11–458. Confidential.
  2. Telegram 472, November 4, outlined recent U.S. economic aid to Yugoslavia. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 332, November 5, the Department of State discouraged the proposed press release as “untimely” in view of new Yugoslav Government complaints about the difficulties it was encountering replacing cancelled Soviet credits with Western aid. (Ibid.)