File No. 763.72/1745
The Ambassador in Italy (Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8.30 p. m.]
263. While negotiations with Austria not yet ended completely I am convinced that both German and Austrian Embassies here expect at any moment war. They have instructed their nationals to leave immediately, except those having imperative reasons for remaining; also have packed personal effects. Austrian Ambassador has indicated his intention of requesting us to assume charge of Austrian interests in such event. I shall accept provisionally subject to your approval and Italy’s assent; also should Germany and Turkey make such request I shall take similar action. Please instruct me confidentially.