File No. 703.72/11764

The Ambassador in Italy ( Page) to the Secretary of State


2142. Orlando and Sonnino have both returned to Rome, Orlando having visited the King and Diaz on the way back, as is believed, to urge Diaz to make an offensive as condition precedent to any outside aid. D[iaz] reported as saying he wants to make an offensive but is 20 divisions and 200 guns under number Austria has on front and that even should Austria be forced back it would lengthen Italy’s front to point where it could not be held. The feeling that an offensive should be made is apparently growing but Nitti seems backing Diaz strongly.

I hear from reliable source that when Orlando arrived at Paris ten days ago and found a French official Havas telegram in the papers there declaring that his reference in his speech before Italian Chamber intimating that the Italian Army’s failure to attack was in accord with Foch’s wishes was inexact, he threatened to return to Rome that evening. The matter was, however, patched up in an interview with Clemenceau.

The feeling here against France is more in evidence than formerly and I hear much talk of France’s selfish attitude everywhere and especially towards Italy. The pushing forward of the Italian and French columns in Albania indicates this rivalry.

Nelson Page