File No. 763.72/8595
The Ambassador in Italy ( Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 22, 11.25 a.m.]
1373. I learn from an intelligent Italian general of standing just arrived from the front, who has been always most friendly to Allies, that the Italian Army is asking now, “What are we fighting for if Trent and Trieste are not to be Italy’s?” He says that the Army is ready to fight to the end for these, which are watchwords like Alsace-Lorraine, but will stop if this hope and inspiration be taken away; for they will consider Italy betrayed by England and France. He says that they do not feel the same way about the Istrian-Dalmatian coast, and Trieste as free coast would meet situation if within Italian borders.
He adds Orlando has gone Paris and London to inform both that Italian [Government] will make peace unless their agreement with her is carried out. Last information may not be so well founded as first but I believe that he knows the Army.