Tito-Šubašic Agreements of 1944
Tito-Šubašić Agreements of 1944
a set of agreements signed by the chairman of the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ), J. Broz Tito, and the prime minister of the royal Yugoslav government in exile, I. Šubašić.
The first agreement, signed on June 16, 1944, on the island of Vis, provided for cooperation between the NKOJ and the government in exile in the struggle to liberate Yugoslavia from the occupying fascist forces and their collaborators. It stipulated that the government in exile should be composed of progressive, democratic elements not compromised by involvement in any military action against the people’s liberation movement, and it consigned to the Subasic government the task of organizing assistance to the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, to which the government in exile was to grant full recognition. The Šubašić government was to unite all military forces of the Yugoslav people with the National Liberation Army and condemn as traitors all those who collaborated with the occupying forces.
The Šubašić government undertook, furthermore, to represent Yugoslavia abroad in accordance with the needs of the national liberation movement. In Yugoslavia itself, it recognized the democratic gains that had already been made—the establishment of a democratic federal system under the provisional administration of the Antifascist National Liberation Council of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) with the NKOJ as executive body. The NKOJ, in turn, agreed not to raise the question of the king and the monarchy, thus leaving the final decision regarding Yugoslavia’s future form of government to the people themselves after the country’s liberation.
Subsequently, Šubašić and the British government, which supported him, attempted to revise the agreement by asking the NKOJ to recognize the monarchy and enter into partnership with the Četniks. The NKOJ, however, backed by the USSR, refused to do so. In August 1944, in accordance with a provision in the agreement, the Subasic government and Tito issued declarations confirming the agreement as signed.
A second agreement was concluded in Belgrade on Nov. 1, 1944, supplemented by two additional accords signed in Belgrade on December 7. The new agreement provided for the formation of a united Yugoslav government to replace the NKOJ and the government in exile. It preserved the democratic federal structure created in the course of the national liberation struggle, with the understanding that the ultimate form of government would be determined by a Constituent Assembly, to be elected three months after the liberation of the entire country. Until the assembly considered the question, therefore, the king was forbidden to return to Yugoslavia. Royal prerogatives would be assumed by a regency council, while legislative authority would be placed in the hands of AVNOJ. Democratic rights and liberties would be assured, including free activity for all political parties and associations except those that had collaborated with the occupation forces.
The agreement, however, was not put into effect immediately because of obstruction by King Peter II, who had support from the government of the USA. The USSR, on the other hand, strongly supported the new Yugoslavia and demanded that the agreement be carried out. The Yalta Conference in 1945 also recommended that the agreement be put into force immediately. Thus, on Mar. 3, 1945, the king was compelled to surrender his functions to the regency council. On March 7 a united government headed by Tito was formed in Belgrade; it was recognized by all the countries in the anti-Hitler coalition. On November 11 a Constituent Assembly was elected, and on November 29 it abolished the monarchy permanently and adopted a resolution proclaiming the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
L. IA. GIBIANSKII