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

543. Embassy has strong impression Yugos much concerned that their performance Belgrade Conference may seriously damage their bilateral relations with the US, and impair prospects for aid projects at levels they have counted upon. Department already aware that Yugos have offered several explanations, some of them mutually contradictory. (For example, they have dropped word privately that they are seeking to protect Khrushchev from internal foes, while at same time explain use communist terminology as designed to shake Moscow domination of international communist movement. Embtel 515.)1 In recent days pattern appears to have emerged from remarks dropped to Embassy officers by high and middle level Yugoslav officials, and some UN official but well informed sources, that Yugos seeking create impression that (A) Embassy misunderstands Yugo role at conference, and consequently misinformed Department; (B) Ambassador Kennan personally responsible for misunderstanding. In latter connection Yugos avoiding any acknowledgment that genuine issues at stake, jocosely suggest whole matter tempest in teapot. For example, Assistant Foreign Secretary Ejvoda last night inquired laughingly, “is the Ambassador still angry at us?”

Appears likely that Yugos will develop this line in Washington and New York in effort to salvage much as possible of aid programs without significant re-examination of policies which have created current difficulties.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BE/9–2661. Confidential. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Telegram 515, September 20, reported on Yugoslav efforts to soften the impact of Tito’s speech. (Ibid., 396.1–BE/9–2061)