File No. 765.003/7.

The American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 247.]

Sir: For some time past local newspapers have been giving currency to statements as to the recognition of Italian sovereignty over Tripoli and Cyrenaica.

Visiting the Foreign Office today, the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prince di Scalea, made reference to the matter and remarked upon the method with which the subject had been dealt with by our Government.

He then read to me a despatch from the Italian Ambassador in Washington detailing a late visit to the Department of State. He wrote that his conversation was with Mr. Adee and that he had [Page 609] broached the subject of the late treaty with Turkey, as to Italy’s sovereignty over the territories in question, and that he hoped for action by the United States similar to that taken by other powers.

Continuing, the Ambassador added that Mr. Adee replied that it was not the custom of his Government to proceed in that manner, especially with regard to affairs European; that when the United States took over the Philippine Islands and Porto Rico, foreign governments were not asked for their acquiescence nor for their recognition, and none was given. He said of course the United States Government was fully aware of what had taken place and as to the effect of the late treaty, and while it had no objection at all to the attitude of Italy, nevertheless an explicit form of recognition must not be expected.

It should be added that Prince di Scalea did not criticise our method but, on the other hand, seemed to treat the matter as the practical equivalent of what had been done in a more pronounced manner by other nations.

It is assumed that our Consul at Tripoli has been advised.

I have [etc.]

Thomas J. O’Brien.