File No. 763.72119/2180

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


2145. Have talked with Sonnino who says that he would not be sorry if the President should [reject] Germany’s propositions in entirety. He thinks Germany’s whole proposal insidious; says that Italy’s position, should armistice be now declared, would be unfortunate as so much of her territory occupied, and even evacuation of this territory would leave Italy in a difficult position owing to increased length of her frontier and destruction of her former defense. He dwelt upon difference between Italy’s geographical position and France’s and says that even should there be an armistice the special situation of Italy geographically should be considered by military and naval experts from a military and naval point of view before [Page 363] compromising by an armistice. This view he bases on peculiarities of Italy’s frontier, especially of Adriatic coast. He strongly favors Italy’s making an offensive. I think he is very apprehensive of the effect on the people of an armistice. Many troops are stationed about the city this evening to prevent demonstrations. Sonnino considers it to be of great importance to detach Turkey; also thinks Bulgaria might be brought into line with the Allies if properly handled—for example, if offered Adrianople.

Nelson Page