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23 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 10A LONDON, 19 January 1944, 5 p.m.


For the Prime Minister.

Your telegram to Dominions Office 12 of January 11th. [1]

Reply is being sent in the immediate future [2], preceded by two telegrams giving further information with regard to Yugoslavia and Greece. [3]

The reply sets out the position from the United Kingdom point of view and in reading it one has to bear in mind their embarrassments, owing to the commitments entered into in the early days of the war.

Your telegram has had a most admirable effect here in forcing consideration of the issues you raise and crystallizing thought upon them. Personally, I greatly welcomed the telegram and I hope you will take similar action from time to time in the future.

One personal thought with regard to the countries you deal with is that in them democracy must carry the significance that the will of the people must prevail as to the type of Government they have, and not the significance of parliamentary government in accordance with our ideas which is so often attached to it in British countries.

The real hope I see for the three countries you deal with in your telegram is the emergence of outstanding men who it would be the will of the majority of the people should be placed in authority.

How they exercise that authority must, I am afraid, be left to the individual peculiarities of the nations concerned.

Yugoslavia appears to be the only one of these countries where an outstanding man has emerged in the person of Tito. [4] No such man has yet appeared in Italy or Greece.


1 Document 10.

2 Document 27.

3 Cablegrams D92 and D93 of 19 January, dealing with Yugoslavia, are on file AA: A989, E43-44/1000/4/1. Cablegrams D97 and D98 of 20 January, dealing with the political situation in Greece, are on file AA: A989, E44/370/4/3.

4 Marshal Josip Broz Tito, President of the National Committee of Liberation.

[AA:A989, E43-44/1000/4/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History