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responsible for killing American citizens Coleman and De Long on April 6, 1924. American Minister Grant-Smith obtained such assurances. Informed of this January 30, Secretary of Statė Hughes on January 31 cabled Minister Grant-Smith authorization "to extend recognition to the new régime in Albania and to acknowledge the receipt of official notification of establishment of the republic.” This was done under date of February 2, 1925.
Within a year the new American Minister in Albania, Charles C. Hart, could report that, by virtue of a unanimous vote of both houses of the Albanian Parliament:
Engagements made by the Albanian state as the conditions upon which recognition was granted by the American Government on July 28, 1922, have
at last been removed from the field of controversy. ... After the measure passed unanimously by parliament on December 14 was signed December 21 by President of the Republic Ahmet Zogu, equal commercial opportunity for the United States became part of the law of Albania on December 28, 1925, the statute taking effect on that day with its publication in the Official Gazette.
Events Preceding Wartime (1944) Non-Recognition of the Hoxha Government Formed at Berat
The Albanian Government of former President Ahmet Zogu, on September 1, 1928 proclaimed His Majesty Zogu I, King of the Albanians. He was of the illustrious Albanian family of Zogu, and thereafter ruled in accordance with the Fundamental Statute of the Kingdom of Albania, but his government disintegrated following the occupation of Albania by Italian troops in April 1939. King Zogu eventually received admission to England. The United States Government never formally terminated its relations with King Zogu, but instructions were given to American Minister Hugh G. Grant to leave Albania, and the Albanian Legation in Washington was closed late in the spring of 1939. The United States Government never recognized the subsequent annexation of Albania by the Italian crown, and it refused to recognize the puppet government established in Albania by Italy; moreover, from 1942 to 1944 it publicly sought to encourage Albanian resistance and unity.
In a widely disseminated “Statement by the Secretary of State," released to the press on December 10, 1942 (and published in the Department of State Bulletin December 12, 1942) a call for self-government was issued within the context of the restoration of a free Albania, as envisaged in the joint declaration of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, made on August 14, 1941 and known as the “Atlantic Charter." A sequel termed “Statement by the Department of State” was released to the
press April 6, 1944 (and published in the Department of State Bulletin April 8, 1944). It expressed pleasure that the Albanian struggle for freedom had not been abandoned after the fall of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini in 1943, and the commencement of the Nazi German occupation of Albania.
The first formal step toward Albanian unification within Albania took place in Permet, a small town in southern Albania not far from the Greek frontier, even before Allied Forces had entered Rome. The First Anti-Fascist National Liberation Congress, adopted in Permet on May 24, 1944, a lengthy “Declaration” in which Secretary of State Cordell Hull's Statement, and similar ones also released in December 1942, by British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden and by Vyacheslav Molotov's People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, were referred in a preambular paragraph as constituting solemn recognition of Albania's right to independence. There followed a paragraph ascribing exceptional importance to this First Anti-Fascist National Liberation Congress, because it would create an Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council as the Albanian people's “supreme legislative and executive organ,” which would in turn create an Anti-Fascist National Liberation Committee as the chief executive organ, with the attributes of a provisional government.”
The formal decision of the Permet Congress to elect such a Council, and to empower it to form such a Committee, came on May 27. Thereupon this Council, on May 27, issued a six-point decree, providing for this Committee "having all the attributes of a provisional people's government." Later that day this Council issued three more decrees. One of the three named Enver Hoxha Commander in Chief of the Partisan Volunteer National Liberation Army and bestowed upon him the rank of Colonel General. This decree took on added significance due to the fact that the Permet Congress had indicated, as the eighth point of its formal decision of May 27, the desire of the Congress that both the Soviet Union and the United States of America send military missions to be attached to the PVNLA's General Staff. Of possible interest, but little importance, was the fact that all these Permet decrees dated May 27 or 28, 1944 bore the signature of the Secretary of the Anit-Fascist National Liberation Council, Koço Tashko, who had attended Harvard University in 1921.
The Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council of Albania, by virtue of its decree dated October 22, 1944, issued in the city of Berat, was transformed into a “Democratic Government of Albania." The adjective “provisional” rendered both as “përkohëshme” and “provizore” in the Permet Congress declaration of May.24, and the AFNL Council decrees
of Permet dated May 27-28, did not appear once in the AFNL Council decree of October 22. Colonel General Enver Hoxha gained additional stature under this Berat decree, being designated Prime Minister as well as Minister for War and for National Defense.
The ostensible domination of this new “Democratic Government of Albania" by a man reputed to be one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Albania founded in Tirana on November 8, 1941, could not help but worry Prime Minister Churchill. His British Government already faced “confusion and disaster" in Greece, England's old ally, due in large part to lack of firmness exhibited under what Churchill so expressively described as “the general principle of slithering to the left." By November 3, 1944 it had been decided, not surprisingly, that “In the present confused situation in Albania, His Majesty's Government do not propose to recognize the Provisional Government,” i.e., the Hoxha Government. On November 21, 1944, the Department of State concurred in this decision, explaining:
The Department of State concurs in the view of the British Government that any request for recognition of the provisional government formed at Berat which may be received at this time should not be granted. The Department feels, however, that there may be a stage in the not distant future in which it may be found expedient to consider the desirability on practical grounds of establishing with such governing authority as may be in de facto control of the country such relations as would enable this Government to open an office in Tirana for the purpose of protecting American interests there and coordinating the activities of the representatives of other American agencies who may be sent to Albania. The Department will be disposed to give sympathetic consideration to a request for de jure recognition by an Albanian Government only at such time as it may be able to demonstrate that it is non-Fascist in character, that it has established its authority over the country, that it represents the will of the people and is prepared to fulfil its international obligations.
Preliminary (1945) Concerted Allied Steps toward
By the time (January 12, 1945) the British Government had expressed complete agreement with the American position taken in the Department of State Memorandum of November 21, 1944, both British and American de jure recognition of Hoxha's Albanian Government had been rendered more complicated. Colonel General Enver Hoxha, as "Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Democratic Government of Albania,” had on December 21, 1944, sent a personal letter appealing for recognition of his Government to President Roosevelt.
Letters with an identical text were addressed to Prime Minister Churchill and Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars Marshal Stalin.
This tripartite appeal was repeated by publication of the text on the front page of the January 4, 1945 issue of Tirana's leading newspaper Bashkimi (The Union), Organ of the General Committee of the National Liberation Front. In his letter to President Roosevelt, written in French, Enver Hoxha termed the events at Permet and Berat the crowning achievements in Albania's five-year struggle for national liberation and then declared:
Aujourd'hui notre pays étant liberé, le Gouvernement Démocratique est le seul Gouvernement qui représente l'Albanie chez nous comme à l'étranger. En Albanie comme à l'étranger, personne ne peut contester le fait de l'existence de notre gouvernement. L'autorité de notre gouvernement s'étend
sur toutes les regions du pays, sur tout le peuple albanais. In conclusion, Enver Hoxha sought recognition by Albania's three Great Allies:
Pour garder et consolider les rapports d'amitié contractés dans la lutte commune contre le fascisme, pour consolider la collaboration entre l'Albanie et les Grands Allies, j'ai l'honneur de vous présenter l'expression de la volonté du peuple Albanais à ce que son gouvernement soit reconnu en premier lieu de la part de nos Grands Alliés Anglo-Sovieto-Americains et
d'établir des relations diplomatiques entre Votre gouvernement et le notre. The official seal of the Council of Ministers appeared over the edge of the signature of Enver Hoxha.
As we discover from a Memorandum dated March 17, 1945 in the Department of State's Division of European Affairs, of which Cavendish W. Cannon was the drafter, Enver Hoxha's letter "came to the attention of the President only after his return from the Crimea Conference,” which took place February 4-11, 1945. Meanwhile, the Department of State had under active consideration, a plan to send to Albania an informal and unofficial survey mission to determine when and under what conditions American representatives might be officially established in Tirana. Acting Secretary of State Joseph Grew had this plan outlined in a memorandum dated January 26, 1945 in mind when cabling instructions on January 31 to the United States Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, Caserta, Italy.
The Colonel General was to be told: (1) his request for recognition addressed to Roosevelt had been received in Washington, but the Department of State planned no formal reply; (2) the United States Government, before according recognition to any Albanian Government, would have to be more fully informed than at present regarding the situation in Albania. According to the aforementioned Cannon Memorandum dated March 17, President Roosevelt had indicated he would like to speak to the Secretary of State about the question of recognition of the present Albanian Government, but on the recommendation of the Division of European Affairs, the
discussion had been postponed until a report could be received on the progress made to conduct a preliminary survey of conditions in Albania.
Shortly thereafter, on March 19, a telegram was sent to Caserta over the signature of Acting Secretary Dean Acheson, providing the text of a memorandum to be prepared for delivery to Colonel General Hoxha with respect to his request for recognition. In essence it stated that the United States Government wished to become more fully informed regarding conditions and developments in Albania, and proposed to send into Albania a small group on an informal basis to obtain the necessary information upon which to base any official recognition. Any delay in working out some such arrangement would only delay the decision on official recognition by the United States Government sought by Colonel General Hoxha. The memorandum prepared in Caserta long these lines was delivered to Colonel General Hoxha on March 23, and, although he commented adversely on the fact that it was unsigned, the next day he sent a note in reply accepting the proposed mission for the purpose of “facilitating the recognition of our Democratic Government."
By April 7, 1945 detailed instructions from Secretary of State Stettinius had been prepared for Foreign Service Officer Joseph E. Jacobs, who had been chosen to head the mission. A major policy consideration was outlined:
It is our view that no one of the three principal Allied Governments should take any decisive action with regard to Albania on matters of international importance, such as recognition, boundaries, federation, alliances, et cetera,
except in consultation with the other two Allied Governments. Jacobs was instructed as to when he should make an informal call on Colonel General Enver Hoxha, and how he should conduct himself during that call:
You should leave no doubt in his mind that your presence is not to be in any way construed as representing any degree of recognition whatever and that the carrying out of your mission is a prerequisite to this Government's consideration of the question of establishing official relations, whether de
facto or de jure with the existing Albanian authorities. In accordance with these instructions, after his arrival in Tirana on May 8, 1945 with a party of eight comprising the unofficial American survey mission, Jacobs called on Colonel General Hoxha, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Democratic Government of Albania. In a telegram reporting on this call of May 9, he commented:
Hoxha strikes me as a forceful character with ambitions but suffering from
effects of an inferiority complex because of his failure to win recognition. Six days later, after acquainting himself with the findings of Brigadier D. E.