340.1115A/549b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray)

24. The following telegram, mutatis mutandis, has been sent to the Legations at Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia and Athens:22 [Page 80]

“In view of recent developments and possible spread of hostilities the Department wishes you to review the situation concerning the return of Americans from Yugoslavia. Therefore please telegraph as soon as possible: (1) Estimated number of Americans who might desire to return to the United States; (2) brief advice regarding possible arrangements for evacuation of citizens from Yugoslavia to the United States including indication of most logical routes and possibility of obtaining transit visas. The Department of course leaves to your judgment the ultimate decision with respect to the time and method of again advising American citizens to return to the United States, knowing that you will bear in mind the two factors of political developments and the difficulties of egress from Yugoslavia.”

In as much as a considerable number of American citizens may have to proceed from the Balkan countries to and through Istanbul, you are requested to advise the Department, after consultation with the missions named, regarding possible arrangements that might be made for such movement.

The contents of this telegram should be kept in strictest confidence.

  1. Sent April 19, 1940, 6 p.m., to Belgrade (No. 20), to Bucharest (No. 106), to Budapest (No. 78), to Sofia (No. 16), and to Athens (No. 66).