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John Kennedy

December 2000

The Author, John Kennedy, was a British Parliamentary Candidate at the 1992 and 1997 General Elections and formerly Political Secretary (1987-92) to the the Secretary of State for Transport; Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for Social Security. In 1993 he became a member of the British Royal Household, firstly as Equerry and later Private Secretary attending at official functions in England and abroad with members of the British Royal Family. John Kennedy is of Montenegrin descent on one side, through the Gvozdenovic family and Kennedy (Scottish)  on the other.

Introduction....Click here to see more
The Yugoslav Coalition Government of President Koštunica (1)....Click here to see more
The Montenegrin Coalition Government of President Djukanovic....Click here to see more
Free market conservatism and the political parties of Montenegro....Click here to see more
Montenegro’s Origins....Click here to see more
History of Montenegro as an Independent State....Click here to see more
Unification of Montenegro into a Jugo-Slav State....Click here to see more
Documents....Click here to see more


 This paper is designed to provide an analysis, which examines the self-determination of Montenegro but draws no conclusions. These are essentially matters for the people of that Republic, and of Yugoslavia. This is an examination of the views and positions that form the backdrop to the latest crisis in the region, drawing on recent discussions. 
 In October Montenegro’s President, Milo Djukanoviƒ, announced that a referendum on secession would be held before June of next year. The background was a period of virtual isolation from Serbia, since 1998, when Montenegro broke with its Jugo-slav partner who was by then the only other republic remaining in what had become a rump state.
 For almost all of the period of the last two and a half years President Slobodan Miloševiƒ held sway in Belgrade while President Djukanoviƒ, with the active encouragement of the West, has disengaged himself and his Republic from the Federation, almost totally.
 In October of 1997, as Prime Minister, Mr. Djukanoviƒ had scraped through the presidential elections in Montenegro to beat the incumbent, a staunch allie of Serbia’s President Miloševiƒ. Western governments seized the opportunity, hoping that Montenegro's change of leader would make the republic a heavier geopolitical domino in the Balkans than its tiny size might suggest.
 While Dr Koštunica correctly points out that President Djukanoviƒ and his coalition originally voted to install President Miloševiƒ as Head of State, none the less in the years of separation Montenegro has enjoyed frequent high level exchanges with representatives of various western governments, often at a head of government or head of state level. Mr. Djukanoviƒ has been regarded de facto as a head of state, and his administration has been extended the dignity usually reserved for sovereign representatives. President Chirac of France was not alone in receiving the Djukanoviƒ delegation with full honors at the Elysees, at a time when NATO and the UN were conducting operations against Serb forces in Kosovo.
 Such endorsements were a tonic for those in Montenegro who believed that it was time to find their own way out of the Yugoslav chaos. But at the same time this policy irritated a considerable body of opinion in Montenegro and overwhelmingly in Serbia, who saw any separatist tendency as not only anti-Jugo-Slav but anti Serb specifically. 
 However the International attention Montenegro has received has not only fuelled this whole debate, it has enabled it. It has made it possible for Montenegrins to consider a future as a born-again independent entity. In a sense the day by day politics of dealing with Miloševiƒ has opened, in Montenegro, the very questions that the same piecemeal approach opened in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as in those republics it is difficult to simply switch off the current, simply because this is a time for new politics. 
 Even with Miloševiƒ gone, for the time being, it is clear that President Djukanoviƒ’s approach has found deep roots among an important portion of the population in his Republic. Some argue too deeply to reverse, others point to the fact that President Djukanoviƒ himself will be finished if Montenegro does not continue on the course it has hitherto charted. Many suggest fierce opposition to such moves in parts of Montenegro. It remains to be seen in what measure each side can claim support or if the crisis can be resolved one way, or another, without another explosion.
 With the election of President Koštunica, the West has urged President Djukanoviƒ to forgo independence and work out a new relationship with Belgrade — in part to ensure that a Yugoslavia exists in which Kosovo can be a part, to avoid immediate demands for Kosovo's independence.
 President Bill Clinton evoked this risk at the start of NATO's campaign, saying that Kosovo, in contrast to Bosnia, was not confined by natural borders but instead could evolve into an open?ended conflict liable to spread through the southern Balkans and ultimately involve two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, Greece and Turkey.
 If Macedonia starts collapsing amid internal conflict, the position of NATO forces there, currently 12,000 troops waiting for peacekeeping duties in Kosovo, would be untenable.
 The ramifications of this would extend into the wider Balkan region, and include not only Macedonia but Greece as well. Self-determination is an inalienable right, but only to a point.
 Encouraging Montenegro’s de facto break away during the Miloševiƒ years was privately seen as a high-risk strategy, not least due to the ever-present threat of intervention by the Federal Army. The removal of boarder controls and visa requirements by the Montenegrin Government, flouting Yugoslav sovereignty, was one in a line of measures that could have been used as a pretext for a crack down. It would have left western military and political leaders with a serious problem, having intervened so decisively in Kosovo, which does not even enjoy the full status of a republic, but is seen internationally as a province of Serbia, could it have stood by?
 In egging on President Djukanoviƒ the United States in particular backed up Montenegro, it urged him out on a limb with its very public helpings of aid and moral support ? and warned President Miloševiƒ of dire consequences if he threatened the small republic.
 And it was very much touch and go. On one evening in particular, during a session of the Montenegrin Parliament, a former president of that Republic arrived in the capital while the Federal Yugoslav army were put on high alert. If, as had been expected, the issue of independence had been declared during the session, a coup d’etat would have come into immediate effect. But Montenegro, which has a surprisingly sophisticated intelligence service, was one step ahead. While acrimonious, the session, which was frequently adjourned, was completed without interference or any significant decision.
 But Serbia's democratic revolution, which drove President Miloševiƒ from power in early October, has changed things. Now the Clinton administration has explicitly warned President Djukanoviƒ to ease up on his quest for Montenegrin independence or face a cutoff of aid. In October, during a visit to the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, the US Balkans envoy, James O'Brien, made it clear to Mr. Djukanoviƒ that continued delivery of US aid ? to reach $89 million this year ? depended on his willingness to avoid "unilateral" steps to break away from Serbia
 So western policy has been decisive in creating, or resurrecting, a political current in Montenegro. It has built up and given status to President Djukanoviƒ who now finds that his position at home has been weakened by President Koštunica's election.
 Mr. Djukanoviƒ argues that Yugoslavia no longer exists and that he does not recognise Mr. Koštunica as president of Yugoslavia, simply the democratically elected leader of Serbia. That infuriates the Yugoslav President, who is open for negotiating a new relationship or even separation, so long as the process is transparent and capped by referendums in both republics.
 This shift has angered some US Republicans. They say the threat is tantamount to betrayal. The Kentucky Senator, Mitch McConnell, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, even went as far as delaying $10 million in US aid to Serbia.
 An aide to Mr. McConnell said the senator was also resisting efforts by officials to block money for customs training and central?bank reform in Montenegro, which the administration fears could be construed as supporting independence.
 ‘McConnell supports whatever the Montenegrins want to do and doesn't believe that the United States should blackmail them into a course of action inconsistent with their aspirations.’

President Djukanoviƒ, though eager to stay on good terms with his American patrons, has also given them cause for alarm by proposing that Montenegro and Serbia occupy separate seats in the United Nations, according to a letter he wrote on 27th October to Secretary?General Kofi Annan.
 Montenegrin sovereignty, Mr. Djukanoviƒ wrote, is the foundation ‘of our initial proposal to President Vojislav Koštunica, namely the proposal that acclaims the relationship of Montenegro and Serbia as an alliance of two internationally recognized states.’
 For the first time, on 12th October, President Koštunica said that the coastal republic of Montenegro could choose to seek independence from Serbia. The President conceded that he would bow to the will of Montenegro ‘If the will of the people of Montenegro will be not to be part of the federation, this will is to be respected.’ Only two days before Dr Koštunica stated that there was no provision in the Yugoslav constitution to allow Montenegro to secede.
 But in reality the election of President Vojislav Koštunica means that there will be no different policy on the question of Yugoslavia. Dr Koštunica has made it clear that there is no support for the removal of Montenegro, and further more Dr Koštunica has subsequently succeeded in having Yugoslavia reinstated as a member of the United Nations, as a single entity, as the successor to the former Yugoslavia, a move which gives Yugoslavia the lead role in the region, reversing Montenegro’s role and importance at a stroke.
 There are strong grounds to argue that Serbia and Montenegro fit together naturally, more so than any of the former republics that once made up Yugoslavia. Nationalistic elements of Serb opinion, a body to which President Koštunica undoubtedly belongs, see overwhelming historic, religious and political reasons for the union of ‘Serbs from Serbia and Serbs from Montenegro.’
 Even the supporters of the development of two distinct states are not in total disagreement - they see a certain commonality of cause, there is no schism here, not at least of the kind seen between Serb and Croat or Croat and Muslim in other parts of the former Yugoslavia.
 But on the other hand, those seeking Montenegrin independence also argue that Mr. Koštunica is not Yugoslavia, and that the good will invested in that state today, absent yesterday, may well be gone tomorrow. Turmoil could yet return. A demand for parallel equality between the two republics, in a single state, is as logical and reasonable as it is absurd, in terms of a population  divide of 95%/5%, respectively. Those seeking independence suggest that with just two republics remaining the only answer is a new arrangement, one of confederation between sovereign states.
 Opinion on the structure of Yugoslavia is entrenched. The West fears fuelling Kosovan separatism and Serbia is aware that further moves along these lines may also open up the question of Vojvodina and the Sanjak at a later stage, thus giving new momentum to the Yugoslav-domino effect continue.
 The Serbs of Serbia regard the inhabitants of Montenegro as Serbs -  without distinction. Montenegrins meanwhile, probably by a majority, recognise themselves merely as ‘ethnic’ kin - brothers. 
 Montenegrins point to the fact that unlike other former Yugoslav republics, Montenegro has been a Sovereign state. She was recognised by the international community until the early years of the last century, and was finally annexed in what many regard as a duplicitous and undemocratic coup.
 Montenegro's modern union with Serbia dates only from 1918. After the Turks' defeat of the Serbs in Kosovo in the 14th century, Montenegro was never subdued, although the Ottomans didn’t officially recognize its independence until 1799.
 The Serbians on the other hand claim that the unification of Serbia and Montenegro fulfilled a long held dream, of both the Serbians and the Serbs of Montenegro; to live in a single homeland. The whole issue of the union between Serbia and Montenegro, of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, of the arrival of the Serbian army, is suddenly current once again. Montenegro in particular sees parallels, whereby on both occasions it sided with the allied powers, and on both occasions was abandoned upon final victory. Today, however there is a significant difference. President Djukanoviƒ is neither in exile, nor is he an old man, as was Montenegro’s King Nicholas I at the end of Word War I.
 On 7th January 1919 the late King of Montenegro wrote from Paris to President Woodrow Wilson, a letter which the American leader described as ‘moving’, ironically it is a text that might be sent by today, by the current Montenegrin figurehead:
 ‘The union of Montenegro with its Jugoslav brothers? 
 ‘But all my life I have been the most resolute and most listened to partisan of it! Only, I have always felt that it was necessary to leave my people an independence which they have so dearly bought by five long centuries of strife, and I have always proclaimed that in the formation of a Jugoslav community each member ought to preserve its autonomy. This I re-stated in October 1918. No Jugoslavia is possible, in my opinion, without liberty and equality among its members.’
 One option now open to western policy makers is to stall on the question of further disintegration and attempt to buy a way out of the crisis. Against Montenegrin pressure to conclude a future arrangement the west might encourage a climate in which the economic advantages of a growth economy in Yugoslavia undermine the tide of secessionism. This may well work, it cannot be denied that there is a strong faction in Montenegro who vehemently oppose any divorce from Serbia, and even a faction in President Djukanoviƒ’s own party has not been won over to the secessionist talk.
 The one time Balkan economic power house (Yugoslavia has previously enjoyed one of the highest growth rates in the world) is already regarded by analysts as having the best potential, in terms of production capabilities and as a market significant enough to make it a potential engine for a general Balkan recovery.
 The British Government has already announced £10m in bilateral aid for the refugee and civil population. Of that, the Department of Trade and Industry is participating with £1.2m of assistance, in addition to 17% UK participation in the 200m Euros that the EU is sending in urgent aid for wintertime needs.
 The Japanese have pledged $10 million in aid for a start and want to participate in infrastructure projects next year.
 Trade delegations from Greece, Austria and the Czech Republic have visited. American and European companies are considering investing or reviving dormant links, and some that weathered the storm have expansion plans. In 1989, Yugoslavia was the wealthiest and most politically and economically liberal nation in the Communist world and investors see opportunity.
 With eight million people in Yugoslavia, plus or minus two million Kosovans and two million Serbs in the diaspora, Yugoslavia is one of the Balkans' biggest and most important markets.
 President Koštunica believes in speedy privatization with State assets such as the Niš tobacco factory, electric, oil and gas companies; cement factories; and the government's 51 percent stake in Telecom Serbia all being prime targets.
 The New York Times recently reported that the Austrian Construction Company, Bau Holding Strabag A.G., is exploring the loans and grants promised to Serbia for rebuilding by the European Union and others. There are projects for the reconstruction of bridges over the Danube as well as new highways.
 The Austrian bank Raiffeisen Zentralbank Group hopes to set up in Yugoslavia having contacted several Yugoslav banks with a view to establishing relationships with them as correspondent partners.
 But the New York Times also reports that the key is whether the government (Republic of Serbia - not Yugoslavia) that emerges from the December elections can push significant reforms through the regional parliaments in Serbia and Montenegro and whether the governments can hold together through the pain of reforms.
 If he is to succeed the key task facing President Koštunica must be to convince enough of Montenegro’s population that the benefits of this industrial and market potential will outweigh what the independence movement believe they can offer by an economy based on a unique fiscal framework with a mix of tourism and financial services associated with an off shore facility.
 Montenegrin leaders have, since 3rd November 1999, abolished the ailing Dinar in favor of the German mark which, at that point, became legal tender. 
 The Dinar had been trading on the streets at one third of its official value at the time. 
 Mr. Djukanoviƒ was repeatedly described as a pro?Western at the time by leaders such as Mr. Blair and President Clinton. His move on currency has given him a strong weapon against a return to a unified system, arguing that to re-adopt the dinar would remove the effect of a currency that has seen food staples, pensions, utility bills and other government?regulated prices remain stable.
 Whether Montenegro can be sustained in the future from a tourist industry, which has collapsed, or by a financial service sector that has yet to arrive, is another matter. In both the case of Serbia and Montenegro, new investors need to be convinced that institutionalised incompetence as well as bureaucracy and corruption has been stamped out.
 President Koštunica’s has a small window of opportunity, a time in which he must show that the trickle down theory can have a bearing, but in a climate where the tax and revenue system has collapsed. The sale of State assets will have to do more than convert capital holdings into short-term revenue.
 Those close to President Koštunica believe that Mr. Djukanoviƒ is now deliberately seeking to incite anti?Montenegrin sentiment in Serbia, as a means of pushing the issue of coexistence to the top of the political debate. In other words, that he is making radical moves and statements in order to elicit the response "if the Montenegrins want to go, let them."
 Allies of Dr Koštunica openly question the motive of secession, believing that the Montenegrin President is responsible for introducing a new crisis of chauvinism. They privately accuse Mr. Djukanoviƒ of the same thing that former President Miloševiƒ was denounced for in the past; namely being no more than a former communist who has taken the banner of nationalism in order to preserve his own power and for his own ends.
 Why, they ask, was Yugoslavia acceptable to President Djukanoviƒ and his party in 1992 and so unacceptable now? They assert that while President Miloševiƒ was in power the argument that the central government wasn't allowing reform held water. What is the argument now, they ask? They do not believe that Montenegro can seriously question Belgrade's Unitarian?state pressures, or anti?reform obstruction. They draw parallels to the views of Bosnia’s President Izetbegovic, who once stated that he would be willing to sacrifice peace for independence. Why, they ask, risk secession and internal turmoil in Montenegro? Is it such a burning necessity, a matter of life?and?death for Montenegro to become independent?
 President Koštunica was a reluctant candidate for the Yugoslav Presidency, he threw his hat into the ring having made certain conditions to his coalition partners in (DOS). One of these was that the existence of Yugoslavia must be recognized as a de jure reality and that the Federal Government should have a say in the future of the country. 
 President Djukanoviƒ neither agreed to these conditions, nor, more to the point recognised the elections. The Montenegrin President made the point that he was being asked to enter a democratic process against a President (Miloševiƒ) whom the international community had declared as an outlaw. Mr. Djukanoviƒ privately argued that there was a real possibility that President Miloševiƒ might win. What then? There could be no claim that the victor had no credibility, unless the plan was to refuse to recognise the result. In this case what point in having the elections at all?
 Certainly neither President Djukanoviƒ, nor a large body of opinion in Montenegro, wanted to have to recognise a post victorious Miloševiƒ. And it should be said that for a large part Mr. Djukanoviƒ’s international status came as a result of the world community’s hope that the Montenegrin leader might replace President Miloševiƒ as a new Yugoslav head of State. Yet again, as in other republics, this policy bypassed the Yugoslav structure, in the hope of undermining it. Yet again one more republic started to build itself apart from the Federal structure, and was encouraged to do so.
 President Koštunica has been determined to avoid a situation in which the governments of the republics negotiate between themselves, leaving him with nothing more than the role of a new Gorbachov. As an American official put it; to pursue the goal of independence for Montenegro now that Mr. Koštunica is in power, runs the risk of putting the Yugoslav president "in the position of the guy who lost Montenegro", but this was a role they were quite happy to cast for President Miloševiƒ
 Now members of the ruling coalition of Montenegro (SDP and DPS) openly reject the role of the Federal Government. On 20th November, Ranko Krivokapiƒ, SDP vice?president, said that "The federal government is illegitimate" and that any future talks concerning the country can be held only between delegations of Serbia and Montenegro. He added that Dr Koštunica might only participate as a member of Serbian delegation. 
 Aleksandar Djurisiƒ of the DPS, the second member of the Montenegrin coalition, said that this policy is based on the standpoint of two separate entities. That Montenegro would further wait until after Serbia's (20th December) elections to hold talks.
 Dragan Soc, the president of NS, the third party in the coalition, was more equivocal, saying that "anyone who is politically relevant should participate in the talks about the future of the state," and that "any agreement between the political elites must also be verified by the citizens of both Serbia and Montenegro, so that we would avoid the repeat of the situation where parties form a state."
 President Koštunica is a Constitutional Lawyer by profession. As such he is a keen and fastidious follower of detail, he raises the question of the legitimacy of call for a referendum before organizing early elections in Montenegro, where the voters would have a chance to have their say on each party's program. Critics point to the fact that President Djukanoviƒ's DPS didn't participate in the previous elections on a pro?independence platform, but only on a pro?reform and anti?Miloševiƒ ticket.
 The Montenegrins believe this to be a pedantic point, without any actual constitutional relevance.
 What most pro-Yugoslav observers concern themselves with is the question of who controls the (Montenegrin) state?run media, which is being increasingly accused of propagating pro?independence views, just as during recent conflicts it was derided in Serbia as a mouth piece for NATO.

The Yugoslav Coalition Government of President Koštunica (1)

 President Koštunica has the disadvantage of trying to manage the difficult transition from a previous regime. At the same time he must maintain a wholly artificial coalition that on paper is incredible. 
 The President is secure, for now, largely because of his immense popularity, according to latest surveys Koštunica’s party is by far the most popular ? over 30% support, more than double of  his coalition partner, the Democratic Party leader, Zoran Djindjic. But this is an exhaustible currency and he has little else in reserve, certainly not the luxury of a parliamentary majority. The fact that President Koštunica is directly elected may be enough, but it may only be enough, to coin a phrase, keep him in office, but not in power. 
 The President must move ahead with his agenda, his adherence to the letter of constitutional law is seen by some as his Achilles heal in a country impatient for change and at a time when a public debate smolders within the 18?party coalition, known as the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, or DOS.
 Dr Koštunica wants legality. Much of the coalition, dominated by the Democratic Party leader, Zoran Djindjic, wants a more urgent tempo. Dr Koštunica spoke delicately of "different approaches" within the coalition, but observers report a subtext that is that Dr Koštunica and Mr. Djindjic simply do not trust each another. Dr Koštunica does not want Mr. Djindjic to control the secret police or its files; Mr. Djindjic thinks Dr Koštunica is not sufficiently committed to systemic change. Dr Koštunica has a small party but is hugely popular; Mr. Djindjic has a large party but small electoral support, with high negatives.
 In that sense, they need each other. But it is also obvious that the DOS coalition will split — some around Mr. Koštunica believe he should capitalize on his own popularity and run his own slate of candidates for the Serbian Parliament in the 23rd December and let Mr. Djindjic and those who follow him fend for themselves. But most believe that it is symbolically important for coalition to remain together through the elections and form a responsible Serbian government, breaking into two or three factions later, and Mr. Koštunica and Mr. Djindjiƒ have been urged to work more closely together. As a consequence the coalition is entering the elections together, with President Koštunica’s name at the head of the list, whilst Mr. Djindjiƒ hopes to become Prime Minister.
 1 The New York Times:Case for a Serbian Democracy (Without Purges) - Steven Erlanger & The Daily Telegraph reports

The Montenegrin Coalition Government of President Djukanoviƒ

DPS ? Demokratska Partija Socijalista (The Socialist Democratic Party)

 President Djukanoviƒ's party, which was originally the Communist Party of Montenegro, until it changed its name, in 1992. It split into two in 1997, after which Mr. Djukanoviƒ became its president, having beaten Momir Bulatoviƒ in the battle for the party's name

SNP ? Socijalisticka Narodna Partija (The Socialist Peoples Party)

 Resulted after the DPS split. President Momir Bulatovic; the former President of Montenegro and Prime Minister of Yugoslavia is now MP in the Montenegrin Parliament. Vice?Pesidents: Predrag Bulatoviƒ, Srjda Bozoviƒ, Zoran Ziziƒ (new Prime Minister of Yugoslavia). These were President Miloševiƒ's coalition partners in the previous parliament. This Party acknowledged the DOS victory and possibility of voting irregularities early on and is current DOS's coalition partner in Federal Yugoslav Parliament. This party supports a federated Yugoslavia ‘with Montenegrin equality’. It is not clear what this means.

SDP ? Socijaldemokratska Partija. (Social Democratic Party)

 This party has always been for an independent Montenegro, but not as radically until recently. While it has never won more than 5?7% of the popular vote it is none the less part of the ruling, three?way coalition in Montenegro.

NS ? Narodna Stranka (People’s Party)

 The shakiest part of the ruling coalition, with no defined stance. The party began as a Serb?nationalist party in 1990 but Dr Kilibarda, their founder, moved to a pro?Montenegrin platform as the conflict with President Miloševiƒ sharpened. The party currently says that they will leave the coalition if DPS and SPD assemble a pro?independence platform. The party is a proponent of a political agreement with parties in Serbia, as well as the Federal Government. They will only support a referendum if "the [Montenegrin] media are freed" beforehand.

LSCG ? Liberalni Savez Crne Gore (Liberal Council of Montenegro)

This party has been a radical proponent of secession from the start. It was founded by Slavko Peroviƒ, who is now Treasurer of the party after having resigned as president after the last elections, in which they made their weakest showing yet.

This party stands behind the re-formation of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church attending its parallel celebrations of Christmas and Easter en mase.

This party seems set to take Narodna Stranka’s (People’s Party) place in the coalition should the latter leave. This would give a new coalition a single seat majority in Parliament.

SNS ? Srpska Narodna Stranka (Serbian Peoples Party)

Bozidar Bojoviƒ is the President of this party, a splinter from the Narodna Stranka (People’s Party), having broken off in protest at Dr Kilibarda's ‘pro?Montenegrin’ turn. The party participated in the last Federal elections and has a minister in the Government ? the Minister of Religion. The party is politically allied with the SNP and pro?Serb and Yugoslav in 

Free market conservatism and the political parties of Montenegro

 Conservatism, a real free market liberal philosophy, is a concept that has yet to be introduced to any political milieu in a respectable or decisive way in what remains of Yugoslavia.  As with much of the former ‘Eastern Bloc’ no true conservative program exists within any one party.
 Party programs are not meaningful in the way they are in the British political system . Each party talks "reform" ideas without a clear demonstration that they know what it means or even what it is they want to reform. 
 The SNP is the most left?of?centre in its economic and social programs, in the sense that they would prefer the preservation of state control over the strategic industries, most of which have in any case collapsed. 
 The DPS is, in expression, for ‘social justice’ but, in practice, wants to privatise as much as possible without denationalization or too much transparency.
 The LSCG is the most economically liberal and capitalist in outlook of the Montenegrin parties, but has no support in the Republic of Montenegro (although it could yet hold the balance of power in a new coalition). 
 The SDP is another "reform"?spouting hybrid, while the NS is centrist, leaning more to the right economically.
 The legacy of communism has made free-market conservatism a taboo. It will be some time before a movement can develop. And in the mean time there seems an ever-present need for the "socialist" label among all on the political scene.
 In the Yugoslav context President Koštunica’s DSS is probably the closest thing to a quasi conservative party, along with the Serbian branch of the SDS.

Montenegro’s Origins

Before the arrival of the Slav’s in the Balkans during the VI century AD, the area now known as Montenegro was inhabited principally by Illyrians. After several punitive expeditions against local pirates, this kingdom was finally conquered by the Romans in AD 9 and annexed to the province of Illyricum.
 The division of the Roman Empire between Roman and Byzantine rules-and subsequently between the Latin and Greek churches-was marked by a line that ran northward through modern Montenegro, symbolizing the status of this region as a perpetual marginal zone. During the decline of Roman power, this part of the Adriatic coast suffered from intermittent ravages by various semi nomadic invaders, especially the Goths in the late V century and the Avars during the VI century. These were soon supplanted by the Slavs, who became widely established in this part of the Balkan by the middle of the VII century. Because of the extreme raggedness of the terrain and the lack of any major sources of wealth such as mineral riches, the area that is now Montenegro became a haven for residual groups of earlier settlers, including some tribes who had escaped Romanization. 

History of Montenegro as an Independent State

 That Montenegro was both free and independent before 1918 plays heavily in the arguments of those seeking a referendum on the future. They contend that since Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, the constituent republics have in turn voiced their will and made expressions of their own self-determination. Moreover, in the case of Montenegro in particular, since the absorption of that State was initially made without any plebiscite, the case is put that such process is not only logical, but also proper. 
 Governor Radonjic in 1711 wrote to Maria Teresia, that ‘Montenegro is divided in five regions (nahija?Pjesivci included). They are governed by 5 Grand Dukes, 9 Dukes, and 34 Princes. Furthermore he suggested that Grand Dukes have a very important role and should be paid twice as much as the Dukes’ 
[‘Zapisi’, 1939, Cetinje]. 
 Following the liberation's wars (1875?1878) the Berlin Congress gave Montenegro full international recognition, transforming the state from a de facto nation in to one de jure. This gave the country the opportunity to develop along more recognised state lines, with the establishment a proper legal and constitutional framework. The effects of centuries of almost permanent siege were lifted and Montenegrins began to travel abroad for both education and commerce. Montenegro realised that it needed the advantages of broad and good education for its tiny population, so, in addition to students studying away, the government commissioned new schools throughout the territory. Social and economic development was further improved by the regaining of the Montenegrin towns from the Turkish control. 
 The Sovereign Prince (Nicholas) abolished the Senate replacing it with the State Counsel, Ministries, and the High Court. In 1888 a new Common Law replaced the 'General Law of the Land' (the code of Montenegro and the Mountains) of Prince Danilo used since 1855. The  High Court signified the separation of state judicial function from executive. Prince Nicholas also introduced the Property Law (Imovinski zakonik) with precise definitions of property rights and obligations (1888). Until the judicial reforms in 1902, appeals against court ruling were filled to the Sovereign Prince Nicholas who was the final arbiter. That practice continued even after the judicial reforms but the Prince consulted the High Court, sometimes referring the issues back to the High Court. 
 On the St. Nicholas Day Assembly (Nikoljdan) on 19th December1905, Prince Nicholas introduced the Montenegro's first formal Constitution. According to the new Constitution, Montenegro was a constitutional but not a parliamentary monarchy. The introduction of the constitution with new legislation on the Freedom of Press and Criminal Law, paved the way for a modern legal framework.
 The unification of all the parts of Montenegro in a single unity was helped by the introduction of the postal, telegraphic and telephonic traffic.
 In 1910, Parliament raised the Sovereign Prince to King and thus proclaimed Montenegro a constitutional monarchy. But while King Nicholas became a monarch his power and authority were diminishing. Financially powerful individuals began emerging in Montenegrin towns. They saw the power of an autocracy as an obstacle to economic progress. Similarly, a number of Montenegrins who returned from Western countries, where they had worked and experienced democratic freedoms, were not happy with autocratic rule. 
 From the 1880s a significant number of pupils and students had gone to study in Serbia. In Serbia they were heavily influenced by the ideas of the governing Serbian nationalistic bourgeoisie, which, from the time of Prince Milos, saw the annexation of Montenegro as a logical step in the interests of the Serbs of the region as a whole.
 King Nicholas, who had been on the Throne for over half a century, was losing his touch. He appears to have made a series of critical errors of judgement. All this at a time when his own genuine desire for pan-slav union was adding to the clamour for a single ‘Serb’ state.
 In the years leading to the First World War affairs in Montenegro were heavily influenced by the division between the representatives of 'people movement' and those of the Government. In the political arena, the main political parties were 'People Party' (Narodna Stranka) led by Sako Petrovic, better known as 'Klubasi' and 'The True People Party' (Prava Narodna Stranka) known as 'Pravasi' led by Lazar Mijuskovic. Klubasi were the first parliamentary and democratic party in Montenegro. Their political credo was the unification of Serbia and Montenegro and dethronisation of the 'non?peoples' king. The methods of their political activities were as ruthless as the Nicholas' treatment of their activists. 
 In the dynastic fight for prestige and the Serbian throne between Petrovic and Obrenovic dynasties, King Nicholas had an advantage before the rise to power of Radical Party in Serbia. The Radical Party justified its name by radically departing from the policies they preached prior to coming to power. Following the rise to power, Radicals start expressing their aspiration for Greater Serbia. King Nicholas of Montenegro’s desire to be the first Yugoslav king was being seen as unattainable ambitions.
 Pursuing its own interests, Russia instructed its most loyal ally in the Balkans to make a pact and military convention with other Balkan states. King Nicholas and his government made the Balkan Pact with Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia during 1912. In the forthcoming Balkan Wars, Turkey suffered humiliated defeat, despite the support from Austro?Hungary, and was pushed back toward Asia. 
 Montenegro believed that it had emerged as the main victor in both Balkan Wars, despite heavy casualties.
 Perhaps the final nail in the coffin lid came just before the First World War when King Nicholas signed 'Plan for (military) operations' with the Serbian Government, hoping to achieve more co?operation between the people of Serbia and Montenegro. Some judge this as the fatal mistake as it allowed the Serbian authorities to send their own officers to command part of the Montenegrin Army. All this in the midst of the dynastic struggle for supremacy between the tiny royal house of Montenegro and the much more powerful, but relatively new Serbian dynasty.
 Austria occupied Montenegro in 1915, when Serb?led forces protecting the region retreated to Greece via Albania. The Allies quickly declared their solidarity with the defeated Montenegro. The Prime Minister David Lloyd George promised, "The Allies will do justice to the heroism of the Montenegrins." The Allies did win the war, but Montenegro did not regain sovereignty. When Austria retreated in defeat in 1918, Serbia moved in, purportedly to secure Montenegro's stability for a transitional period. 
 Following Austrian advances, King Nicholas fled Montenegro on 22 January 1916, the day after sending the Queen and his remaining daughters to a safe haven across the Adriatic in Italy, where his sixth child, Elena, was Queen and consort. He exiled to France where he remained until his death. 
 After his departure and the declaration of the  unification of Serbia and Montenegro (1918) into a single entity, Montenegro ceased to operate as an independent country and kingdom.

Unification of Montenegro into a Jugo-Slav State

 During the World War I the unification of Montenegro and Serbia was the primary task of supporters of leaders such as Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic. Pasic's aim was to annex Montenegro without negotiation. The Serbian government, and Pasic personally, formed the 'movement for unification' and embarked on a campaign (1916 and 1917), that was to show necessity and inevitability of unification. This became the official Serbian strategic policy approved by the Serbian government and Regent Alexander 
[D.Vujovic, Montenegrin Federalists 1919?1929, CANU, 1981, Titograd, p.13]. 
 The preparations for a formal unification (at the Podgorica's Assembly) were very short. The supporters of unification chose most of the delegates for Podgorica Assembly (Podgoricka Skupstina) often by simply naming delegates, to be invited by the organizers.
[D.Vujovic, Crnogorski federalisti 1919?1929, CANU, 1981, Titograd, p.14]. 
 Podgorica's Assembly took place in the Tobacco monopoly building on 11 November 1918. Some delegates demanded that, instead of rushing to unite, Montenegro was restored as sovereign country and than to negotiate the question of unity with the Serbian government. In particular it was pointed out that a large majority of legitimately elected Assembly members were wither still in Allied countries, or still held captive by the enemy.
 Nonetheless, the Podgorica's Assembly, with its newly appointed members"unanimously" and "by acclamation" decided the following: 
 that King Nicholas I and his dynasty be dethroned forever from Montenegrin throne; 
that Montenegro unconditionally unite with Serbia in one state under dynasty of Karadjordjeviƒ and so united "enter in mutual homeland our three?named people Serbs, Croats and Slovenes", 
and that these Assembly's decisions to be transmitted to: ex King Nicholas I and his sons, Serbian and allied governments, as well as all neutral states 
[translated from J.Jovanovic, Stvaranje Crnogorske drzave i Razvoj Crnogorske nacije, 1947, Cetinje, p.436]. 
 Dissatisfaction with Podgorica's Assembly spread quickly all over Montenegro, but it was particularly prominent in what was called 'Old Montenegro'. Even the people who were in favour of unification of what they called "Serb people into a single Serb state" were dismayed at the way the unification proceeded, at the way Montenegrins were treated, and above all with the behavior of Serb troops.
 Thousands of Montenegrins, took up arms (on Christmas eve of 1919) and surrounded the towns of Cetinje, Niksic, Rijeka Crnojevica, and Virpazar. They demanded that Serbian troops leave Montenegro, and that those who instrumentalized Podgorica's Assembly be tried. They, however, wanted to avoid bloodshed and issued the statement to Serbian authorities: 
"The assembly that took place in Podgorica on 11 November 1918, was scheduled in defiance of our Constitution, and above all, against the will of absolute majority of Montenegrins; therefore that led to uprising of Montenegrins against the decision of the Assembly whose executive branch is You...." 
[D.Vujovic, Montenegrin Federalists 1919?1929, CANU, 1981, Titograd, pg.14]. 
 Though larger in number the rebels were poorly armed and disorganized. They were little match for Serbian artillery and suffered a frontal defeat within days.
 Montenegro became the only Allied country in World War I to be annexed to another country after the end of the war even though it finished the war on the winning side. Moreover, following unification, Montenegro lost its official name and was administratively declared a region of Yugoslavia called Zeta (Zetska Banovina). 
 In spite of diplomatic efforts and allied assurance, Montenegro was never restored and continued to be a part of Yugoslavia, through its various incarnations, to the present.



 Mr. President: The King, my August Sovereign, has deigned to entrust me with the high mission of representing his Government near the Federal Government of the United States and I have the honour to present to Your Excellency the letters which accredit me in the capacity of minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary.
 I am instructed to express to you, Mr. President, the profound satisfaction with which His Majesty the King, his Government and all Montenegrin experience in having the relations of sincere friendship and sympathy which already bound our small country to your great nation made closer by this new tie.
 You will permit me to add that I realize with feelings of emotion the honour of being, near your great republic, the first minister plenipotentiary sent by Montenegro.
 My country’s admiration and enthusiasm for the United States rest on well-defined and deep-seated grounds.
 With us, as with you, ideas of justice and liberty are not imported and artificially infused in our minds; they are the natural offspring of the race.
 For five centuries we have fought without respite our enemy who has succeeded in crushing the pride of the strongest nations. Neither were we fighting for our own land only, but also for the oppressed people of our blood, our Jugo-Slav brothers, so that they might have their day of freedom. Thanks to our tenacity, never during those five centuries, in spite of all the hurricanes and cataclysms, was there any extinction at the summit of our mountains of that beacon of independence that we strained with our every effort to keep alive, of that small,
flickering, but burning light to which all the unfortunate Balkan peoples turned their eyes and their hopes.
 Impelled by that tradition which for the sake of Slavic solidarity has been, is and will be our law, we entered at once the present war and attempted to achieve the impossible. That the task was overwhelming this time, was no fault of ours.
 So for many years our country, increasingly constrained to depend on arms for its very existence, failed to develop its domestic and foreign commerce, to create industries, to improve the agricultural opportunities offered by the territory it lately acquired, to exploit its mineral reserves that have not yet been broached. In the hours of truce many of our young men had to leave their homes that they had bravely just saved. This country of bold initiative is that to which they came.
 Their appeal to your nation for employment of their activities and strengths, for their daily bread and for the comfort of their old age when they would again see the wild scenery of their beloved motherland was not in vain.
 By degrees and through those Montenegrin who crossed the ocean, America has come to be known and beloved in our mountains. It has grown to be looked to as a tenderhearted friend. At this very moment the emigrants from Montenegro scattered over the vast territory of the greatest of the republics watch in enthusiastic interest your magnificent reparation for victory. But while they acclaim your soldier leaving for Europe, I know that their enthusiasm is mingled with regret that they cannot join in the struggle under the colours of their King and his country. Deep will be their joy when they hear today that I have spoken for them in their gratefulness for the generous hospitality extended to them in their day of misfortune by the United States.
 But that, Mr. President, is not I am sure the only word of gratitude I shall have to bring you n the name of Montenegro. My venerable Sovereign and his Government know indeed how strongly the intentions of the Federal Republic coincide with the legitimate expectations and they are aware of the most rare and precious support they will find in your minds, one of the leading minds of the century. 
 The Montenegrin never entertained a doubt of the outcome of the struggle for Right now carried on by the Allies among whom so many of their countrymen are voluntarily paying their mite of abnegation and heroism.
 We are confidently waiting for the day when the American troops whose mission, on that benevolence of which the Federal Republic has given such courteous evidence in agreeing to the creation of the Montenegrin mission in Washington.
 Mr. President, I am sure I am voicing the sentiments of my Sovereign and of all the people of Montenegro when I beg you to accept the very sincere wishes I make for the victory of the Allies, the glory of the United States and your personal happiness.



 I am happy to accept the credential letters by which His Majesty, the King of Montenegro, accredits you as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary near the Government of the United States and to accord you formal recognition in that high capacity.
 For a number of years the Government of the United States has had diplomatic representatives accredited to Montenegro, in consequence of which it is appropriate that the existing government of Montenegro, though forced to find a refuge on foreign soil, should send a diplomatic representative to the United States Government.
 The cruel hand of a most pitiless war has fallen heavily upon your gallant country, so long among the bravest champions of the liberty of its race.
 With your brothers the Jugo-slavs, and your cousins the Czecho-Slovaks, and with the Roumanians as well, you have suffered from the rapacity of a heartless military organisation which knew only the attainment of material ambition through the use of brute force. The Imperial Austro- Hungarian Government, in league with the German military autocracy, from the very outset of this fatal war, has brought a reign of terror to the door steps and heart-stones of the smallest countries within its reach. Murder, rapine, and pillage have left in their wake disrupted families, smouldering ruins and bleeding hearts. Proud and patriotic peoples have been brought to the verge of destruction, overcome by superior strength, and driven from their countries. Such is the sad plight of Montenegro and its neighbours, who have fallen victims to the desires of the German and Austrian Governments to enlarge their territorial possessions, and to subject to their insidious influence the peoples of different countries, in spite of the desire of those peoples for distinct existence, and in the face of racial differences which are incompatible with the purposes of those who direct the movements of the German and Austrian Governments.
 It is against these motives and ambitions, and against this centralized and dominating military power that the United States Government, in its sympathy for small nations, and in harmony with movements for racial independence has assumed an aggressive attitude and is fighting for the preservation of the rights of all nations fully determined to overcome the enemies of justice and liberty.
 As regards those Montenegrin to whom you refer, who have come to live among us, and through whom the United States has become better known o their fellow countrymen at home, we owe them a debt of gratitude that they have contributed in no small measure, to the friendly relations and mutual good feeling which so happily prevail, and which it is my sincere hope will continue to prevail and increase day by day, fostered by your beneficent influence.
 Permit me to assure you the you may confidently rely on my efforts and those of the officers of this Government to aid you with your most cordial good will in the performance of your duties of your mission and in the promotion of the common interests of the United States and Montenegro.’
 On 4th December 1918 when the rumours of a meeting of the Parliament in Podgorica were beginning to circulate and it was suggested that the King and Dynasty had been overthrown and urgent clarification was being sought. 
 At 8:00pm that evening the United States Acting Secretary of State (Polk) sent a telegram (873.00/29a) to the US Minister in Switzerland (Stovall)
 ‘Press reports originating in Vienna indicate that the King of Montenegro has been deposed. That he is succeeded by the National Assembly, meeting at Podgorica. The Montenegrin Minister (Gvozdenoviƒ) has communicated to the Department an official dispatch from his Government, stating that such reports have no foundation whatsoever. Please investigate and report facts immediately’.
 The communication to which the Acting Secretary of State referred was a hand delivered dispatch from The Montenegrin Minister a.i., received just before 5:00pm and which contained a copy of a Cablegram from the Montenegrin Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs (Chotch).
 ‘General, Your telegram of 2nd December at hand. Report from Germany that the National Assembly, assembled at Podgorica, deposed the King and Dynasty and voted that Montenegro and Serbia be under the sceptre of King Peter, is groundless.’
 The Acting Secretary noted that the Government adds ‘Under the Montenegrin Constitution the National Parliament, whose members are elected by the people, has the sole right of making decisions with regard to the sovereignty of the state and dynasty. From the constitutional stand point the parliament is non-existent as many deputies are still confined in Austrian jails and others are in allied or neutral countries. The parliament cannot possibly be convened at present. Adversaries of Montenegro are endeavouring to spread ill intended reports for the purpose of injuring the vital interests of the country and paralyse its role at the peace conference.’
 On 7th December 1918 the State Department received a ‘Manifesto of the National Executive Committee of Montenegro, directed to the Government of the United States [Entrusted by the Executive Committee to the Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion 332d Infantry, US Army, at Kotor, for delivery to the representative of the United States at Paris]
 ‘The National Executive Committee of Montenegro, elected by the Great National Assembly of the Serbian people in Montenegro in its sitting of November 13/26, of this year, and invested with the Sovereign Power of the People of Montenegro, begs to communicate to the Government of the United States the two following resolutions adopted by the Great Serbian National Assembly of Montenegro:
 ‘First, it was resolved at the sitting of the Great National Assembly that: King Nicholas I Petrovic-Njegosh, King of Montenegro, and his Dynasty are dethroned forever from the Throne of Montenegro and that the Union of Montenegro and Serbia Under King Peter I Karadjordjeviƒ is proclaimed.
 ‘Second it was resolved at the sitting of the Great National Assembly that: all goods in Montenegro owned by ex-King Nicholas and by his Dynasty are confiscated to the benefit of the Serbian people in Montenegro, and finally ex-King Nicholas and his Dynasty are forbidden forever to enter our country

The Paris Peace Conference- Council of Ten
The Paris Peace Conference Volume IV pg. 207-211

Paris, 6th March 1919
 Following Marshal Foch, General Gvozdenovic then read the following Statement on behalf of the King of Montenegro.
 ‘Gentlemen, we consider it our duty to speak here, as we think we are entitled to address you on behalf of Montenegro. Notwithstanding the intrigues and wiles of our adversaries (who are also allies and brothers) we are the only official, legal and legitimate Government of the Country.
 Moreover, our existence is not denied by you, but rather clearly recognised - seeing the Great Powers continue to accredit diplomatic representatives to the Royal Government and that the Federal Republic of the United States recently approved the creation of a Royal Legation in Washington.
 As a legitimate Government recognised by the Allies, the Royal Government considers that it has claims on your good will. Can you forget that it was its Head who, from the very beginning, wished to fight side by side with the Entente?
 But, despite its heavy sacrifices and cruel sufferings during the war, Montenegro is the only one of your Allies - and even of your enemies - against whom the doors of the conference have been closed.
 The Royal Government has not been asked to name a representative for the seat reserved for it, because in your opinion the position of our country required explanation.
 May we be permitted to say that its position is neither obscure nor confused? A perfidious propaganda has tried to make you believe that our country as a whole wished to be absorbed by Serbia, and Serbia has tried to do this by one audacious and forcible coup. But Montenegro opposed this arbitrary annexation. She cried aloud despite the gag; her defenseless hands smote the fresh oppressors armed with the weapons you had given them against a common enemy. That is the outline of what occurred. However telling it may be, permit us to add some details thereto.
 The scheme of an official Serbia (which is only a part of the Imperialistic dreams of certain politicians) has long been in preparation, and in their haste since 1916 to carry them into effect gave rise to the amazing Corfu Agreement [The text of the Corfu Agreement is printed by HWV Temperley, A history of the Peace Conference of Paris, Vol v (London 1921) pg.393], which, without a single Montenegrin being consulted disposed of Montenegro from July, 1917 onwards.
 This agreement was not only opposed to the laws of every age and country, but was also an insult to the high principles which the Allies have made their own.
 In France, where the Royal Government received hospitality, in Italy, in England, in the whole of America, a fierce campaign was waged against us, our deeds and our persons - a campaign so false and mean that it stooped to any means of injuring us.
 The word treason was repeatedly used. Without compunction King Nicholas was reproached for asking for Peace in 1915 (in obedience, so it was said, to certain secret engagements). We state clearly that this rumour was the work of Serbian Agents. Such insults can be best answered by an authentic document. From the beginning of the war, the King decided to entrust command of the Montenegrin armies to Serbian Staff Officers; their Chief, the Serbian Colonel Pechich, was the real Commander-in-chief of our troops.
 When Austrians advanced and the lack of food and ammunition made it impossible for our soldiers to hold their positions, Colonel Pechich proposed asking for an armistice. When the Supreme Austrian Command answered this request with the utmost harshness and cruelty, Colonel Pechich advised the King to make peace.
 In our memorandum you will find the text of this letter, written on 31st December 1915, (13th January 1916) and received by King Nicholas the same day at 7:00am.
 The two most important passages are:-
 ‘Sire, the Officers in Command of the Army on the Western Front declare that our Army is so demoralised that the enemy can no longer be resisted.......
 ‘Having shown you the true state of affairs in the army, I have the honour to point out to Your Majesty that it is utterly impossible to Cary on the struggle under such conditions, and that, without delay and as quickly as possible we must (1) ask to make peace with the enemy, since he would not accept the proposal for an armistice made two days ago by the Royal Government’.
 Peace was asked for, or, to be more exact, King Nicholas resigned himself to sue for it at the pressing request of his Government and of the Serbia Colonel Peter Pechich. The reply of the Austrian Government is well known, it was of such a nature that the Montenegrin Government decided to break off negotiations, the King preferring exile to dishonour.
 Serbia, in her desire to forget the part she had played in this affair, has continually tried to distort the fact, to alter texts and destroy all memory of the sacrifices and the heroism of Montenegro. She made unscrupulous use of calumny in order to further the secret design which she was pursuing and which events soon permitted her to bring about.
 In October 1918, after the evacuation of Albania by Austrian troops, the Eastern Army advanced towards Montenegro, and the Serbian troops which formed part thereof rapidly poured over our territory. Our compatriots, glad to meet men of their race, greeted them joyfully; their welcome however met with no response.
 The Serbs immediately assumed the attitude of conquerors, over throwing established institutions and imposing their own authority by means of intimidation and bribery. They were dealing with a starving population, whose consciences it was not hard to corrupt.
 The Serbian Government considered that the time had come for the annexation it had premeditated. By means of bribery a number of persons of all descriptions were suborned and persuaded to act as an artificial ‘Skupchina’ (Parliament). It will be remembered that at the very first meeting, the illegal assembly at Podgorica, after making a pretence of deliberation proclaimed the union of Montenegro with Serbia and the abolition of the Dynasty.
 Mere villages had been permitted to elect four deputies, while entire districts had only sent one or two representatives. Out of fifty of the King’s former Ministers, only two voted against him. Not a single officer or priest voted for the abolition of the Dynasty. Out of the 56 Deputies elected by the people to the Parliament of 1914, only 5declared against Nicholas I.
 Events had developed too far and too rapidly. Such shameless juggling with a regularly established Kingdom could not be accepted by an intelligent population, proud of its history and traditions and conscious of its individuality and need for liberty. Discontent rapidly developed into indignation, which indignation manifested itself both against Serbian troops and Montenegrins in the pay of Serbia.
 In Paris, the Royal Government protested to the Allies against the violence done to our country, against this contempt of all rights. Our complaint has hitherto met with no response. The Serbs are still in Montenegro, pursuing their aims by armed force. Martyrs fall each day; but it has at any rate been proved before the whole world that the will of Montenegro has not been freely manifested.
 We most earnestly desire that our protests shall not be misinterpreted. We will not permit Montenegro to become a Serbian province and ruled by princes neither of her own choice nor her own royal line. It affords us satisfaction to consider that our country has firmly resisted such brutal and humiliating annexation. We are conscious, however, of all that we owe to our race and our people. We will not set our faces against a confederation of the Jugo-Slav countries, the States constituting which league would retain full and complete autonomy. Thus it is evident that we are merely claiming for Montenegro a right which is now recognised as legitimate for all people - that of self-determination. If this right is to be exercised, an end must be made to the rule of terror and despotism from which our country has suffered so much. After investigation by you, the Serbians must be asked to evacuate Montenegrin territory at once. Their gold and their bayonets must affect us no longer.
 Then the task which it has consoled us to think of during the defeat and exile can be fulfilled; Montenegro can be restored, as we have been solemnly and repeatedly promised by the great Allied statesmen, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Poincare, Mr. Briand, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Orlando and Mr. Wilson, the President of the United States, whose eloquent telegram, dated July 1918, we here beg to record: - 
 ‘I thank Your Majesty sincerely for the courteous greetings you so kindly dispatched to me on July 4th, [Official US Bulletin, July 12, 1918, pg.6] which I value highly. I deeply sympathise with Your Majesty in the calamity which has overtaken Montenegro by the invasion of ruthless force. I trust that Your Majesty and the noble and heroic people of Montenegro will not be cast down, but will have confidence in the determination of the United States to see that in the final victory that will come, the integrity and rights of Montenegro shall be secured and recognised.’
 The logical result of this restoration is the return to Montenegro of its lawful Government, which would ensure the working of its constitution and restore the Country to normal conditions. We venture to hope that you will help us in this peaceful task.
 Montenegro would then be free to express its aims, through the Parliament provided by the Constitution, but for the present we can make known to you its fair and moderate claims.....
 The Meeting was then adjourned by M.Clemenceau.

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