File No. 763.72/10091a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page )1


7755. It has become increasingly clear to the Department that this Government should redouble its efforts to assist the Italian Government in its endeavors to prosecute the war against the Central Powers with air possible intensity. Strong efforts on the part of the German Government by propaganda and otherwise to undermine the enthusiasm of the Italian people for the war, coupled with the inability up to the present time of this Government to render as much physical assistance to Italy as to France and Great Britain may create a situation in Italy comparable to that heretofore created in Russia. The Department fears that applications made by the [Page 231] Italian Government for supplies such as coal and other war materials and ships have not been treated by this Government and by the other Governments associated with us in the war as sympathetically as have similar applications made on behalf of Great Britain and France. In order to change this condition of affairs, the Department wishes you to call into conference the principal representatives of the more important United States organizations in the country to which you are accredited and urge them to redouble their efforts to accord to Italian requests for assistance the greatest possible consideration and to use their influence with their French and British colleagues with the view to correcting this situation. Steps are now being taken in this country, with the President’s approval, to bring this matter to the attention of the various departments and boards situated here and to create in this country a sympathetic interest towards Italy which will result in encouraging the Italian people to prosecute, even more vigorously than in the past, the war against the Central Powers. This matter is considered vitally important and you should use every effort to impress upon your colleagues the necessity for vigorous action in this respect.

  1. The same, on the same date, to the Ambassador in France (No. 4039).