May 31 1919, Paris–The problem of new Yugoslav-Austrian border continued to vex the Peace Conference. The Italians, continuing their adamantly anti-Yugoslav stance, wanted all of the Klagenfurt area to remain in Austrian hands. The Yugoslavs began to worry that the Big Three would side with the Italians on the issue to avoid having to make concessions elsewhere, in Turkey or on the Adriatic coast, and their negotiators began to soften their position. On the ground, however, Slovene and Serbian forces launched another offensive on May 29. The Allies demanded an immediate ceasefire, but this took well over a week to implement, by which time the Yugoslavs had secured most of the disputed area.
The American and British preferred solution was a plebiscite; the area’s inhabitants would vote on whether to join Austria or Yugoslavia. Wilson outlined his proposal to the peace conference on May 31, for once able to apply his principle of self-determination quite literally. The Yugoslavs strenuously objected–there was a clear Slovene majority, and a plebiscite was unnecessary. Secretly, they were quite worried they would lose the plebiscite; the area had much stronger ties to Vienna than to Belgrade. Eventually, a two-part plebiscite was decided upon. The southern, more Slovene part would vote first; if they voted to join Yugoslavia, then the northern, more German part would hold a similar vote.