189. Information Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Springsteen) to Secretary of State Rusk 1

SUBJECT

  • Yugoslav Ambassador’s complaints regarding
  • a) “Croatian Independence Day” in California
  • b) Admission to the U.S. of King Peter

Ambassador Crnobrnja called on John Leddy June 6 and raised two subjects related to US-Yugoslav relations:

The Ambassador is still unhappy about the fact that Governor Reagan proclaimed April 10 as “Croatian Independence Day.” After the Ambassador first raised this with you, Win Brown wrote to Reagan pointing out the unfortunate connotation of April 10 which was the anniversary of the establishment of the Nazi puppet state in Croatia. We have not heard from Governor Reagan but we told Crnobrnja that we had information to the effect that Americans of Yugoslav origin in California [Page 505]have been making their displeasure at this action known to the Governor.

The Ambassador also raised the question of issuing a U.S. visa to former King Peter of Yugoslavia. He complained that Peter makes unfortunate political statements about Yugoslavia whenever he visits this country. Crnobrnja asked that we not issue Peter another visa.

We have looked into this visa question. While there is no reason for us to deny a visa to former King Peter, he has on occasion disregarded our admonition to avoid political statements while in the United States as a temporary visitor for pleasure. Although some of his statements have caused us embarrassment in our relations with Yugoslavia, they have on the whole been relatively moderate. Further we have no evidence that Peter is planning a trip at this time.

The Yugoslav Ambassador explained his approach on both of these subjects as stemming from a desire to improve U.S./Yugoslav relations and requested that we bring these points to your attention and also to the President’s attention.2

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Yugoslavia, Cables. Confidential. Drafted by Beaudry and Wilson and cleared by Grossman.
  2. A copy of this memorandum was sent to the White House. An annotation on the covering memorandum from Benjamin Read of the Executive Secretariat to Rostow, attached to the source text, reads: “No action required. File. N Davis, 2/14/68 [sic]”.