The Secretary of State to the Special Representative ( House )
99. For attention Colonel House and Hoover. Following received from Italian Ambassador:
“With reference to the part of my letter to the Secretary of State concerning a memorandum handed to Baron Sonnino, as regards a lack of clothing, linen, etc., in Austria-Hungary,17 I beg to inform you that Baron Sonnino has communicated to the Swiss Legation that the Royal Italian Government cannot admit of any direct relation between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian Legations at Berne and that the question of feeding Austria-Hungary can be handled through the Swiss Government.
Inasmuch as concerns particular decisions to be taken in the matter of the most urgent supplies, Baron Sonnino thinks that these questions be decided upon in what regards Austria-Hungary, at Zurich, in what regards Germany, at Paris and in what regards Turkey and Bulgaria, at London. It is understood, however, that in each of these centers the cooperation of all the Allies and of the United States will be naturally considered indispensable.
While bringing what precedes to your knowledge, I beg to ask that you will be so kind as to let me know what is the thought of the American Government on this subject. Macchi di Cellere.”
To this the Department has replied that Mr. Hoover is authorized to take charge of all such matter[s] on behalf of this Government.