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Tirana in 1969, and widely circulated in the English-speaking countries - Answers to Questions about Albania:

The Congress of Permet decided that the question of Albania's régime be settled immediately after the country's liberation, but it prohibited the return of King Zogu to Albania and it did not recognize any other government formed, inside the country or abroad, against the will of the Albanian people. The Congress voted to reconsider all political and economic agreements entered into by previous governments, especially by that of Zogu, and to annul all those that jeopardized the sovereignty of the people or the economic interests of the country.

In view of the wording of my translation above and the general statement of an authoritative character made twenty-five years after the action taken in Permet in May 1944, it is submitted that in explaining to Jacobs in mid-December 1945 “that all treaties and agreements of former régimes must be abrogated and new treaties negotiated” Hoxha tended to exaggerate the scope and effect of this May 27 decree, at least of section II, which was the sole legal provision cited by Hoxha, and probably did so to give the United States Government the impression that his hands were tied by it.

It is also submitted that Hoxha may have given on November 23, 1945 an imprecise citation of a legal provision and an unjustifiably harsh interpretation thereof deliberately, because he was then ignorant of the particular treaties and agreements the United States had in mind. According to Jacobs, who had returned to Tirana on November 29 after a long absence, Hoxha did not know what instruments were actually involved until November 30, 1945:

He expressed keen disappointment that US had made affirmation of former treaties condition precedent to recognition, especially as British Government had not done so. He said that members regime were extremely suspicious of all treaties negotiated by former Albanian Government; so much so that mere word treaty had become in minds of Albanians a symbol of the sale or gift of Albania's birthright to foreign powers. Until I handed him yesterday (informally pending receipt of certified copies from Department) copies of the four treaties (arbitration, conciliation, extradition and naturalization) he and his régime did not even know what treaties existed between US and Albania.

It is further submitted that Hoxha needed a legal bar to assurances sought by the United States because his Government was then concerned about whether France would accord it unconditional recognition regardless of the outcome of the dispute over the continuing validity of the prewar treaties and agreements. According to a telegram from Jacobs dated December 18, 1945:

Hoxha makes much of fact that British and Soviet recognition without

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commitments regarding treaties (knowing that Soviet has none) and that acceptance either our alternatives may lead to complications with France which on basis commitment with US might seek to revive concessionaire treaties.

Shortly thereafter, on December 21, 1945, the French Government's decision to recognize unconditionally the Albanian Government of Colonel General Hoxha was communicated to Minister of Foreign Affairs Omer Nishani through the Chief of the French Military Mission, who received a greatful note dated December 22, 1945 in reply.

Finally, it is submitted that not only Colonel General Hoxha but also Mr. Harry T. Fultz, the Acting Representative of Albania in the absence of Mr. Jacobs, had a mistaken idea of what precisely was done at Permet in May 1944. In a despatch to Washington dated November 24, 1945 Fultz explained:

The laws referred to as enacted in Permeti May 25, 1944, I believe, are in fact resolutions adopted at the time. We do not have available a copy of the decision taken at Permeti but suggest that a translated version of this should

be available in OSS files, should you find it desirable to check this. From the explanation provided one may conclude that with respect to vital decisions taken at Permet the American mission was unable to distinuish between actions taken there (on May 24 a Declaration and on May 27-28 eight decrees), and had not thought of checking those actions in the only authoritative Albanian source - the Official Gazette.

Albanian-American Relations Start to Deteriorate (January-March 1946)

Eventually, on January 16, 1946, certified copies of all treaties and agreements in effect between the United States and Albania on April 7, 1939 were delivered to Colonel General Hoxha. By then the status of the unofficial survey mission headed by Foreign Service Officer Jacobs had markedly deteriorated from the previous year. Its activities were being effectively circumscribed, and it was subjected to such discourtesy on the part of the controlling authorities that closing the mission had become a possibility.

The change in the relationship of the American survey mission to the Hoxha Government was reflected in developments in January 1946 with respect to that Government. After elections to the Constituent Assembly had been successfully held on December 2, 1945, the newly elected Constituent Assembly convened on January 10. The following day it proclaimed Albania a “People's Republic," officially dissolved the Zogu monarchy, and acted "to approve all laws and decisions of the Anti-Fascist

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National Liberation Council, and its executive organ, from the Congress of Permet to the day when the Constituent Assembly was convened.'

Meanwhile, the question of assurances requested by the United States Government concerning the status of treaties and agreements in effect between the two countries on April 7, 1939, became linked more closely with frantic efforts by the new People's Republic of Albania to obtain membership in the United Nations. Despite its efforts, assumption of a responsible place for the People's Republic of Albania within the postwar family of nations seemed to depend upon affirmation of the continuing validity of such prewar treaties and agreements. Rebuffed in its efforts to gain sufficient support to overcome direct and indirect Anglo-American resistance to membership for the People's Republic of Albania in the United Nations, the Albanian Government in general, and Colonel General Hoxha in particular, simply ignored the suggestion of long standing made to Hoxha in a note from the United States Government delivered December 1, 1945.

This was unfortunate, because the suggestion was the most sensible one made by the United States in the entire controversy and should have been advanced earlier. The suggestion was that should American-Albanian agreements or provisions thereof require, according to the Albanian authorities, modification, suspension pending conclusion of new agreements, or termination due to changed circumstances or other legitimate reasons, then the United States Government was convinced that such steps should be taken by common accord, resulting from negotiation following appropriate prior notification rather than by unilateral repudiation.

On February 27, 1946 Jacobs was told by Hoxha that the Albanian Government's position remained unchanged - any reexamination of existing prewar treaties and agreements must follow United States recognition and the arrival in Tirana of an American Minister.

American Support (April-August 1946) for Greece's
Territorial Claims Angers Hoxha

During the spring and summer of 1946, one major issue plaguing American relations with the People's Republic of Albania, was the manner in which the United States Government supported Greek Government Claims to “Northern Epirus” (Southern Albania). These claims were raised primarily at the Paris Peace Conference, where provisions of the Treaty of Peace with Italy were being hammered out.

On April 12, 1946, Colonel General Hoxha - sought an official explanation from the United States Government for a resolution (S. Res. 82)

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introduced by Senator Claude Pepper which, on March 27, 1946, had been reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee favorably and without amendment:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that Northern Epirus (including Corytsa) and the twelve islands of the Aegean Sea, known as the Dodecanese Islands, where a strong Greek population predominates, should be awarded by the peace conference to Greece and become incorporated in the territory of Greece.

The reply to Hoxha was in the form of a Memorandum sent out on May 11, 1946 over the signature of Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson. The Memorandum concluded that Senate action on S. Res. 82 should not be construed as indicating the attitude of the United States Government's Executive Branch as to its merits, pro or con.

In the Senate passage of S. Res. 82 came on July 29, 1946 after a short debate in which misconceptions about geography on the part of a number of Senators were on exhibition. However, it was the follow-up action on August 30 at the Paris Peace Conference which angered Hoxha. The United States vote then in favor of placing the issue of Greek territorial claims to Northern Epirus on the agenda of the Paris Peace Conference, was denounced by Hoxha in the presence of Jacobs on more than one occasion, although it was a vote not on the substance of the matter but one of procedure. Both Prime Minister Hoxha and Greek Prime Minister Tsaldaris had made statements at the Paris Peace Conference in late August, concerning draft provisions of the Treaty of Peace with Italy in the context of relations between Albania and Greece.

Hoxha's Compromise Offer (August 13, 1946) on
Existing Albanian-American Instruments

On August 13, 1946, five days before departing for Paris to become Head of the Albanian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, Prime Minister Hoxha submitted what was to be his Government's final offer on the subject of the continuing validity of treaties and agreements in effect between Albania and the United States on April 7, 1939. As reported by Jacobs (articles being omitted for brevity's sake) Hoxha had presented the compromise offer in these terms:

Government of the Republic of Albania having always in mind friendship based on mutual respect for international and national rights as link between our two countries, as well as similar relationships with all other democratic and progressive countries, most sincerely and patiently accepts validity of treaties of international character which existed between our two countries as listed below: (here Department should insert titles of eleven multilateral treaties copies of which Department submitted to Albania authorities through this Mission in January).

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With respect to other treaties of bilateral character as listed below: treaties of arbitration, conciliation, naturalization and extradition the Albanian Gov. ernment is ready to take them under consideration immediately with American Minister who will come to Tirana after our government is recognized. After necessary corrections have been made by two parties these treaties will enter into force at once.

Then, comparing this cable text of Hoxha's letter dated August 13 with Hoxha's oral comments on that day on this subject, Jacobs noted astutely:

Letter reiterates substance what Hoxha said, mentioning eleven multilateral and four bilateral treaties, but contained no reference to nature desired corrections and does not mention passport fees agreement, money order convention and, what is far more important, most-favored-nation treatment, exchange of notes beginning 1922 and completed 1925 which Hoxha did not mention orally.

Hoxha's letter, equivocal as usual and with the emphasis upon treaties rather than agreements, and upon multilateral treaties rather than bilateral ones, went unanswered. Hoxha, obviously impatient, took the opportunity of discussing his compromise offer in public among his supporters on October 7, 1946, when he addressed the General Council of the Democratic Front. According to the text provided by the newspaper Bashkimi the following day, Hoxha began the presentation of his case by railing against the series of nefarious treaties concluded by the Zogu Government, and by praising the Albanian people's delegates gathered at Permet in May 1944 for rejecting those treaties.

Besides impatience, another reason for this show of displeasure with the United States on the part of Hoxha, may have been his anger over the forthcoming departure of Jacobs, whose farewell call on the Prime Minister took place on October 9. Whether or not Hoxha knew that Jacobs had become head of the American survey mission with the understanding that if de jure recognition was ever accorded to the Hoxha Government, he would be the new American Minister, Hoxha must have surmised that, with the departure of Jacobs, such recognition was no longer envisaged. Withdrawal of the American Survey Mission in November 1946

Almost a month before Prime Minister Hoxha delivered his major political address, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes had reached the conclusion that United States de jure recognition of the People's Republic of Albania had become completely undesirable. He embodied his conclusion in a telegram dated September 20, 1946:

I wish that no steps be taken toward recognition of the régime in Albania at this time. Regardless of what Albania may do to accept the validity of our treaties, any recognition extended at this time would be widely misinterpreted.

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